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In Brief: Gastric acid reducers study

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Gastric acid reducers study: A J&J/Merck-sponsored study comparing the effect of J&J/Merck's H2 blocker Pepcid AC (famotidine) versus SmithKline Beecham's antacid Tums (calcium carbonate) on postprandial gastric acid concludes that Tums "has a rapid onset and short duration of action," while Pepcid AC "has a delayed onset and a prolonged duration." The products' "peak potencies are similar," the study, published in JAMA May 8, states. Mark Feldman, MD, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Texas, reported that calcium carbonate neutralized 6.7 mmol of acid in the first 30 minutes, but its duration of effect was only 60 minutes. Famotidine began working after 90 minutes, Feldman noted, but the effect lasted at least 540 minutes and, at its peak, the H2 blocker reduced acid secretion by 7.3 mmol per 30 minutes. The study results support SmithKline ad claims that in head-to-head tests of stomach pH, Tums starts to work faster than Pepcid AC; the claims were upheld by a federal judge late last year ("The Tan Sheet" Oct. 16, 1995, p. 7)...
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