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Reflux Esophagitis: Effect of Oral Bethanechol on Symptoms and Endoscopic Findings

KRISHAN D. THANIK, M.D.; WILLIAM Y. CHEY, M.D.; ASHOK N. SHAH, M.D.; and JORGE G. GUTIERREZ, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by The Genesee Hospital Gastrointestinal Research Fund.

This work was presented in part at the 79th Annual Meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1978, and was published in abstract form in Gastroenterology. 1978;74:1147.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Krishan D. Thanik, M.D.; The Isaac Gordon Center for Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, The Genesee Hospital, 224 Alexander Street; Rochester, NY 14607.


Rochester, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(6):805-808. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-93-6-805
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We ascertained the effectiveness of oral bethanechol on symptoms and endoscopic evaluation of reflux esophagitis in a double-blind controlled study. Forty-four patients were treated with either 25-mg bethanechol tablets or placebo, each given four times daily for 4 weeks, in addition to conventional medical therapy. Both therapies significantly decreased symptoms as well as endoscopic lesions; however, endoscopic improvement was significantly better in the bethanechol-treated group. Bethanechol therapy resulted in complete endoscopic healing in 10 of 22 cases, whereas only three of 22 patients in the control group had such healing. No worsening of endoscopic lesions was seen in either group. Our study indicates that bethanechol is an effective drug offering advantages over conventional antacid therapy in the treatment of reflux esophagitis.

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