The purpose of the present study was to compare omeprazole 20 mg once daily and ranitidine 150 mg twice daily in healing duodenal ulcers unhealed by previous treatment with cimetidine greater than or equal to 0.8 g or ranitidine greater than or equal to 0.3 g daily for at least six weeks. In a double blind multicentre trial, 151 patients were randomly assigned to either omeprazole or ranitidine. Clinical assessments and endoscopies were carried out at two and four weeks. Patients characteristics were similar in both groups. Statistical analysis (chi 2 test) did not show any significant difference in healing rate (p greater than 0.20) irrespective of the method of calculation. On an 'intent-to-treat' analysis (n = 151), healing was: omeprazole 46.6%, ranitidine 43.3% at day 15 and omeprazole 70.7%, ranitidine 68.4% at day 29; and among the patients who completed treatment, healing was: omeprazole 48.3%, ranitidine 46.3% at day 15 (n = 125; 95% confidence interval of the difference--17 to 21) and omeprazole 79.6%, ranitidine 75.4% at day 29 (n = 115; 95% confidence interval of the difference--13 to 21). After a further four weeks treatment with omeprazole, healing occurred in 16/20 (80%) who still had active disease at day 29. Patients on omeprazole and on ranitidine experienced similar decrease in day time and night time epigastric pain and in heartburn. Multivariate analysis (logistic regression) did not indicate any influence on age, sex, smoking and alcohol habits, previous drug administered, duodenitis and duodenal erosions on the healing rate. In this model, healing rate was not significantly influenced by previous treatment duration (p = 0.09 at day 15 and p greater than 0.2 at day 29) but was significantly influenced by ulcer size (p = 0.04 at day 15 and p = 0.02 at day 29). Forty one patients complained of adverse events: 19 on omeprazole (four trial withdrawals), 22 on ranitidine (three trial withdrawals).
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