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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2000 September;46(3):155-64

language: English, Italian

Ranitidine in the prevention of gastroduodenal damage during antiblastic polychemotherapy

D'Agata A., Berretta M., Sensi S., Berretta S.


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Background. The authors report their personal experience of the use of ranitidine in the prevention of gastroduodenal damage induced by antiblastic drugs during antiblastic polychemotherapy.
Methods. A heterogeneous group of cancer patients was monitored from January 1984 to December 1999 (293 males and 204 females), aged between 36 and 80 years old, a11 of whom were undergoing antineoplastic polychemotherapy. Preventive treatment with ranitidine at a dose of 300 mg/die per os in a single evening bolus continued through the entire period of antiblastic treatment ranging from a minimum of six months to one year or more. The study was carried out in the General Surgery Department of Valdichiana Senese, Local Health Unit 7 in Siena and in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Catania. The study consisted of a clinical and instrumental follow-up using esophagogastroduodenoscopy at the time patients were enrolled and at 3, 6 and 12 months, or at the end of treatment if longer.
Results. Ranitidine was useful and could significantly reduce the harmful gastric effects of antiblastic drugs, as has been extensively shown by the literature. These drugs can lead to the suspension of treatment owing to intolerance or even death. In this study ranitidine reduced the damaging effects on the upper digestive tract in respectively 78% of the cases treated compared to 22% of non-responders.
Conclusions. The action of ranitidine made antiblastic treatment more acceptable by mitigating or even blocking the damaging effects on the stomach and duodenum, leading to an improved quality of life for cancer patients.

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