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Comparison of effects of calcium carbasalate and aspirin on gastroduodenal mucosal damage in human volunteers.
  1. F E Murray,
  2. N Hudson,
  3. J C Atherton,
  4. A T Cole,
  5. F Scheck,
  6. C J Hawkey
  1. Department of Therapeutics, University Hospital, Nottingham.


    Calcium carbasalate is a therapeutically active salicylate which seems to cause less gastroduodenal mucosal damage than aspirin in laboratory animals. This endoscopist-blinded, randomised, cross over trial aimed to compare acute gastric mucosal damage in 20 healthy volunteers treated with acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) (650 mg three times daily) and effervescent calcium carbasalate (ECC) (826.8 mg three times daily) bioequivalent to 650 mg ASA over a five day period. Endoscopy was performed immediately before treatment and on day 5 of each treatment. Serum salicylate, thromboxane B2, and gastric mucosal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations were measured after endoscopy. ECC caused fewer gastric mucosal erosions than ASA. The total number of gastric erosions was 23.8 (16.1) in the ASA treated subjects compared with 9.1 (8.7) in ECC treated subjects (p = 0.004). Differences between ASA and ECC were significant for both the gastric antrum and body, and for both haemorrhagic and non-haemorrhagic erosions. The mean gastric body Lanza score for mucosal damage was lower after ECC than ASA (p = 0.003). The visual analogue score for gastric body damage was lower for ECC (16.9 mm (15.9)) than for ASA (32.7 mm (20.8)), p = 0.008. Serum salicylate concentrations were similar after both preparations (ASA: 66 (23) mg/l, versus ECC: 58 (17) mg/l, NS). Serum thromboxane B2 was similarly reduced using both preparations-97.2 (3.5)% inhibition with ASA, 95.2 (5.5)% inhibition with calcium carbasalate (NS). Suppression of gastric mucosal PGE2 synthesis was similar with both preparations (ASA: 83.4 (17.1)%; ECC 84.3 (12.9)%; NS). It is concluded that ECC causes significantly less gastroduodenal mucosal damage than ASA administered at bioequivalent doses as judged by serum salicylate, serum thromboxane, and mucosal PGE2 values. ECC may therefore be a less harmful alternative treatment to plain ASA.

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