Once Cured, Bleeding Ulcers May Need No More Drugs

Study finds those who took nothing did as well as those who did

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 24, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- New research from Taiwan questions whether long-term therapy is needed for people who've been treated successfully for bleeding peptic ulcers.

Key is ensuring that the bacterium -- Helicobacter pylori -- associated with the ulcer has been eliminated and the ulcer has healed,reports the study, which appears in the Sept. 22 issue of the Archivesof Internal Medicine.

The researchers divided 82 people whose bleeding ulcers had been treated successfully into four groups, with two groups given an antacid, in differing amounts, and a third receiving a medication that reduces the secretion of stomach acid. The other group got a placebo.

All participants took their allotted medication for 16 weeks and then were seen as outpatients periodically for five years. All stayed free of H. pylori infections.

No peptic ulcers recurred among those taking medication, but thosetaking only a placebo fared just as well, the study says.

"Anti-ulcer maintenance therapy was not necessary to prevent ulcer recurrence," the researchers wrote.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about peptic ulcers.

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, news release, Sept. 22, 2003

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