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Crit Care Med. 2005 Apr;33(4):760-5.

Randomized, double-blind comparison of immediate-release omeprazole oral suspension versus intravenous cimetidine for the prevention of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients.

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Louisiana State University, Shreveport, LA, USA.



To demonstrate that a new immediate-release omeprazole oral suspension is effective in preventing upper gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients.


A noninferiority analysis was used to compare rates of clinically significant upper gastrointestinal bleeding in a prospective, phase 3, double-blind trial with parallel omeprazole suspension and cimetidine treatment groups.


A total of 47 intensive care units in the United States.


A total of 359 critically ill patients who required mechanical ventilation for > or =48 hrs, had an Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score of > or =11 at baseline, had an intact stomach with a nasogastric or orogastric tube in place, and had at least one additional risk factor for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.


Patients were randomized to treatment with omeprazole suspension (two 40-mg doses on day 1, via orogastric or nasogastric tube, and 40 mg each day thereafter) or intravenous cimetidine (300-mg bolus and 50 mg/hr thereafter) for up to 14 days. Gastric aspirates were sampled for bleeding and pH. Medication doses were doubled for failure of pH control (two successive aspirates with pH < or = 4).


Clinically significant upper gastrointestinal bleeding (bright red blood not clearing after 5-10 mins of lavage or persistent Gastroccult-positive "coffee-grounds" material for 8 hrs on days 1-2 or for 2-4 hrs on days 3-14 and not clearing with > or =100 mL of lavage) was the primary end point of the trial. The rate of clinically significant bleeding in the per-protocol population was 4.5% with omeprazole suspension and 6.8% with cimetidine, meeting the criteria for the noninferiority of omeprazole suspension. Median gastric pH was > or =6 on all trial days with omeprazole suspension treatment and on 50% of days with cimetidine treatment (p < .001, all trial days). In the omeprazole suspension group, median gastric pH was >4 on each trial day in 95% of patients.


Immediate-release omeprazole suspension is effective in preventing upper gastrointestinal bleeding and more effective than intravenous cimetidine in maintaining gastric pH of >4 in critically ill patients.

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