Gastroenterology

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Prophylaxis Against Stress Ulcers: Usual Medications Ineffective for Patients In Intensive Care Units?

KEY POINT

Ranitidine (Zantac—Glaxo Wellcome) and sucralfate (Carafate—Aventis)—the agents most commonly used for prophylaxis against GI bleeding secondary to stress ulcers in patients in intensive care units (ICUs)—are likely ineffective and may be linked to pneumonia. This conclusion, reached in a recently published meta-analysis of randomized trials, leaves clinicians with few choices for preventing this common problem in very ill patients.

SOURCES

Messori A et al. Bleeding and pneumonia in intensive care patients given ranitidine and sucralfate for prevention of stress ulcer: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2000;321:1103.