Acid and Barriers: Current Research and Future Developments for Peptic Ulcer Therapy
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Medical therapy for peptic ulcer disease has been targeted at inhibiting acid secretion based on the belief that ulcers occur due to an imbalance between aggressive and protective factors. New antisecretory agents are unlikely to show any dramatic improvement over the success and safety of histamine H2 receptor antagonists or the recently introduced H+K+ATPase proton pump antagonist omeprazole. The development of specific muscarinic M3 and gastrin receptor antagonists will provide useful agents to suppress acid and pepsinogen secretion by alternative means and may prevent the associated hypergastrinaemia seen with anti-secretory therapy. Enhancement of mucosal defence by site protective agents will be based on a better understanding of the vascular and immune factors involved in maintaining mucosal integrity and the growth factors that regulate wound healing. Molecular techniques are likely to produce the 'model anti-ulcer' agent which will effectively inhibit acid secretion and also enhance wound healing thus providing a cure for this chronic disease.
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