Four “extra-effort” drug regimens were tested to determine which most nearly eliminated 24-hr gastric acidity in 8 patients with duodenal ulcer. The regimens included two 300 mg cimetidine tablets with meals and at bedtime; one 300 mg cimetidine tablet plus an anticholinergic drug with meals and at bedtime; 300 mg cimetidine with meals and at bedtime plus liquid antacid 1 and 3 hr after meals and at bedtime; and 300 mg cimetidine, an anticholinergic drug, and antacid, taken simultaneously as each meal was finished and at bedtime. No regimen completely eliminated gastric acidity. However, compared to standard cimetidine therapy (300 mg four times daily) which led to a median 24-hr pH of 2.6, each “extra-effort” regimen except cimetidine plus an anticholinergic was significantly better in reducing gastric acidity. During the daytime hours, cimetidine with meals plus antacid 1 and 3 hr after meals was most effective (median pH 5.0). However, the more convenient regimen of cimetidine, an anticholinergic drug, and antacid was almost as effective (median pH 4.3). None of the “extra-effort” regimens was significantly more effective than standard cimetidine therapy during the hours of sleep.
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