The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate.


Frommer DJ




Med J Aust


A double-blind trial of zinc sulphate given by mouth (220 mg, three times a day) and placebo was undertaken in patients with benign gastric ulcers. The drug was given for a three-week period and the healing of the ulcers was estimated from results of barium-meal X-ray films taken immediately before and after this period. There were ten patients taking zinc sulphate and eight patients taking placebo. The two groups of patients were comparable in all respects, including initial ulcer size. Patients taking zinc sulphate had an ulcer healing rate three times that of patients treated with placebo. This difference was significant (P less than 0-05). Complete healing of ulcers occurred more frequently in the patients taking zinc sulphate than in patients treated with placebo. The placebo group contained more patients whose ulcers did not heal at all, than the group taking zinc sulphate. No side effects from zinc sulphate were noted. There was no evidence of zinc deficiency in any of the patients.