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Arch Intern Med. 1982 Aug;142(8):1479-81.

Bethanechol or cimetidine in the treatment of symptomatic reflux esophagitis: a double-blind control study.


We conducted a double-blind study to compare the effectiveness of oral bethanechol chloride or cimetidine in treating reflux esophagitis to evaluate the drugs' effects on the symptoms of esophagitis and its verification by endoscopy. Forty-three patients were treated with either 300 mg of cimetidine or 25 mg of bethanechol chloride, each administered four times a day for six weeks. In addition to this drug treatment, the patients all received conventional medical therapy. Patients who were treated with either of the two drugs experienced a decrease in symptoms and less severe endoscopic lesions. While cimetidine treatment resulted in complete endoscopic healing in 15 of 22 patients, bethanechol treatment resulted in the same healing in 11 of 21 patients. During therapy, neither endoscopic lesions or symptoms worsened. Our study indicated that either cimetidine or bethanechol is an effective drug in treating reflux esophagitis. The effects of the two drugs can be favorably compared.

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