In a multicentre study the effect of ranitidine on healing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) associated peptic ulcers was compared in a group of patients who had stopped NSAID treatment with another group who continued with NSAID treatment. A total of 190 patients with confirmed ulcers were randomised to continue or stop NSAID treatment. All patients in addition received ranitidine 150 mg twice daily. Patients were endoscopically monitored at four, eight, and 12 weeks. Gastric ulcers at eight weeks had healed in 63% of those taking NSAIDs compared with 95% of those who had stopped NSAID treatment. For duodenal ulcer the healing rates at eight weeks were 84% in the group continuing NSAIDs compared with 100% in those who stopped NSAIDs. The differences in healing rates were statistically significant for both gastric ulcer (p = 0.001) and for duodenal ulcer (p = 0.006). At 12 weeks, 79% of gastric ulcers and 92% of duodenal ulcers were healed in the group continuing with NSAIDs. All patients with gastric and duodenal ulcers who stopped taking NSAIDs were healed at 12 weeks. The study shows that ranitidine 150 mg twice daily effectively heals NSAID associated peptic ulcers. Healing is more successful when NSAID treatment stops but even if these drugs are continued, substantial healing rates are achievable.
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