Journal of clinical gastroenterology vol:9 issue:3 pages:314-6
Eighty-four patients with healed duodenal ulcers were treated for 1 year with pirenzepine, 50 mg twice daily, or placebo in this double-blind, randomized, multicenter trial. Clinical follow-up and endoscopy were performed before and after 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment. Endoscopy was also carried out whenever symptoms compatible with ulcer recurrence were present for more than 2 days. Both groups were well matched for age, sex, duration of peptic ulcer disease, and smoking habits. There were 21 drop-outs due to lack of compliance. Therefore, 32 patients treated with pirenzepine and 31 with placebo were included in the analysis. Expressed in cumulative percentage of recurrence, with pirenzepine, 28% of the patients had a relapse at 3 months, 41% at 6 months, and 53% at 12 months; with placebo, the recurrence rates were 58% at 3 months, 68% at 6 months, and 71% at 12 months. The mean success time at 1 year is also longer for pirenzepine (7.38 months) than for placebo (5.52 months). These differences are significantly in favor of pirenzepine (p less than 0.05). Both treatments were well tolerated. Dry mouth was more frequently observed with pirenzepine (14 versus 5 patients). We conclude that pirenzepine, 50 mg twice daily, significantly reduces the relapse rate of duodenal ulcers during a 1-year maintenance treatment.