Aim: To perform a meta-analysis evaluating the efficacy of H-2-receptor ant
agonists in functional (nonulcer) dyspepsia.
Selection of studies: A Medline search was used to identify placebo control
led randomized clinical trials, using the subject headings dyspepsia and H-
Outcome measures: Global assessment by the patient of dyspepsia symptoms, i
mprovement of epigastric pain and complete relief of epigastric pain.
Results: Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria, 15 of which reporte
d the active drug to be superior to placebo. Many studies suffered from sub
optimal study design, The odds ratio in favour of active drug was 1.48 (95%
confidence interval: 0.9-2.3) for global assessment of dyspepsia symptoms,
2.3 (95% CI: 1.6-3.3) for improvement of epigastric pain, and 1.8 (95% CI:
1.2-2.8) for complete relief of epigastric pain.
Conclusion: There is some evidence that H2-receptor antagonists are superio
r to placebo in functional dyspepsia, but larger studies evaluating higher
doses of H-2-receptor antagonists and of longer duration are necessary to d
etermine the exact effect size.