Q. What other forms of medication are used?

A. The Histamine ft-receptor antagonists are currently the most widely used drugs for peptic ulcers. Nevertheless, a form of medication called tri-potassium di-citrato bismuthate (colloidal bismuth) is also claimed to produce very good results. It is said to be about as effective as cimetidine, but until recently the only form available was an unpleasant tasting liquid which had a strong ammoniacal odour. It is now available as a chewable tablet and this has improved patient compliance. There is little doubt that if a person does not like his medication, , he often will not take it. He will invariably lie to the doctor and say he is taking the prescribed medication!

Q. Does it have adverse side effects?

A. Every medication has some side effects in someone as we have already pointed out. However, like cimetidine, these are small and fairly unimportant, at least in the known short term. It may stain porcelain teeth fillings, colour the tongue and cause the stools to turn a strange dark grey. It is taken well before meals. Its effect is negated by the presence in the stomach of food, milk or antacids, so it is essential these are not taken at the same time, or indeed probably within an hour or two either way.


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