The effect of intermittent dosage with omeprazole on basal and pentagastrin stimulated gastric acid secretion and fasting plasma gastrin was assessed in eight duodenal ulcer subjects who were in remission. Omeprazole (20 mg daily) was given for a three day 'weekend' each week for two months. Twenty four hours after the first and eighth weekend, basal and peak acid output were still markedly suppressed (greater than 50%) compared with pretreatment. After the treatment free four days, however (just before the eighth weekend), peak acid output had returned to pretreatment values; basal acid output was still somewhat reduced (mean 3.6 mmol/l) but the difference from baseline was not statistically significant. Fasting plasma gastrin concentration increased slightly but significantly, from a baseline median of 17 pmol/l to 25 and 31 pmol/l respectively, 24 hours after the first and eighth weekends. All but two values (of 16) remained within the reference range. Before the fourth and eighth weekends, and again at 12 days and three months after treatment, gastrin values were not significantly different from baseline. Thus a 'weekend therapy' regimen with this long acting antisecretory compound produces substantial acid suppression, but for only part of the week, with modest and reversible changes in fasting plasma gastrin. It should therefore be suitable for efficacy testing for prevention of recurrence of peptic ulcer or reflux oesophagitis.
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