This study assessed the effect of profound inhibition of gastric secretion by an H2 antagonist on postprandial gastric emptying of acid and chyme, and on bile acid and pancreatic enzyme secretion under physiological conditions in humans. Six subjects were studied before and while they were given famotidine (40 mg). This study combined a continuous intestinal perfusion technique using 14C-polyethylene glycol (14C-PEG) as duodenal recovery marker, with intermittent sampling of gastric content using PEG 4000 as meal marker. During the three hour study, the area under the curve for gastric acid output decreased from mean (SEM) 88.9 (7.6) mmol for those not receiving treatment, to 21.2 (2.7) mmol for subjects receiving famotidine (p < 0.01). The corresponding values for the rate of acid delivery into the duodenum decreased from 65.2 (11.9) to 16.6 (2.9) mmol (p < 0.05), and those for the rate of gastric emptying of chyme remained unchanged for the group receiving no treatment and during famotidine (1040 (200) v 985 (160) ml respectively, NS). Duodenal bile acid and trypsin output remained unchanged (area under the curve, 457 (128) v 373 (86) umol/kg and 5022 (565) v 5058 (400) IU/kg respectively, NS) receiving no treatment and during famotidine. It is concluded that profound inhibition of postprandial gastric acid secretion by anti-secretory drugs is not accompanied by changes in biliary and pancreatic secretion, mainly because the gastric emptying of chyme is unaffected.
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