A new chewable tablet containing cimetidine 200 mg and alginic acid 500 mg, at a dosage of one tablet four times daily, was compared in a 12 week randomised study with the standard dosage of cimetidine (400 mg four times daily) in the management of oesophageal reflux disease. The dose of cimetidine continued unchanged throughout the study but the dose of the combination drugs could be increased after six weeks to two tablets four times a day if response was unsatisfactory. A total of 312 patients had data suitable for analysis. Sixty three per cent of those on the combination tablet completed the study without increasing their dose - that is taking cimetidine equivalent to half the standard dosage used in the control group. The improvement in heartburn symptoms was significantly greater in the combination group than in the group taking full dose cimetidine. There were no significant differences between the treatment groups in healing and improvement of the appearances of oesophagitis after 12 weeks, and healing rates were as expected from previous studies. The addition of alginic acid to cimetidine in this fixed combination tablet is an improvement in symptomatic treatment of oesophageal reflux disease.
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