Ranitidine: forgotten drug of delayed gastric emptying

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Abstract

Delayed gastric emptying in the presence or absence of mechanical bowel obstruction can cause distressing symptoms in palliative care patients. We present two patients, both with vomiting due to delayed gastric emptying and gastric outlet obstruction secondary to pancreatic cancer, treated with subcutaneous ranitidine resulting in a symptomatic response. We hypothesise that ranitidine is a useful adjunct to standard treatment with prokinetic agents or octreotide in such patients and potentially those with proximal mechanical bowel obstruction from other malignancies with associated delayed gastric emptying.

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