Famotidine in the therapy of gastric hypersecretory states

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      The histamine (H2)-receptor antagonist famotidine was compared with ranitidine and cimetidine in its ability to control gastric acid hypersecretion in 33 patients with gastric hypersecretory states (32 patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and one patient with idiopathic hypersecretion). Equipotent doses of each drug were determined in nine patients and used to determine relative onset of action, duration of action, and potency. Each drug had a similar time course of onset with a maximal effect at three to four hours after oral ingestion. The duration of action of famotidine was 30 percent longer than that of either cimetidine or ranitidine. In terms of relative potency, famotidine was nine times more potent than ranitidine and 32 times more potent than cimetidine. Thirty-two patients underwent long-term famotidine treatment for up to 34 months (mean, 10 months) with a duration in 21 patients of at least six months, in nine patients of at least 12 months, and in six patients of at least 24 months. The mean daily maintenance dose with famotidine was 0.33 g per day (range, 0.05 to 0.8 g). Prior to famotidine therapy, 27 patients were taking ranitidine and the mean daily dose required was 2.3 g per day (range, 0.6 to 5.4 g), whereas six patients were taking cimetidine and the mean daily dose was 4.6 g per day (range, 1.2 to 9.0 g). Fourteen of the 32 patients required an anticholinergic agent in addition to ranitidine or cimetidine to maintain control, whereas only five patients required an anticholinergic agent with famotidine. Gastric acid hypersecretion was controlled in seven patients with less frequent dosing with famotidine than with cimetidine or ranitidine. Long-term treatment with famotidine was not associated with any hematologic or biochemical toxicity or clinical side effects. These results demonstrate that famotidine has a similar onset of action to other H2-receptor antagonists but has a 30 percent longer duration of action and is nine times more potent than ranitidine and 32 times more potent than cimetidine. Famotidine is safe and highly effective in the long-term treatment of gastric hypersecretory states.
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