Ketotifen-old drug, new indication:reduction of gastric mucosal injury

R. Eliakim*, F. Karmeli, D. Rachmilewitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to determine the efficacy of ketotifen (Zaditen® an effective antiasthmatic drug, in preventing indomethacin-induced gastroduodenal mucosal injury in a two-arm prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled and open study. Thirty healthy volunteers with endoscopic normal-appearing mucosa were randomly treated, double-blindly, for 1 week with either placebo or ketotifen, 2mg twice daily. On day 7 indomethacin, 50 mg three times daily, was added. Two subjects, one from each group, were withdrawn from the study owing to non-compliance. Ten additional subjects received ketotifen, 2 mg twice daily, 24 h before indomethacin administration, in an open manner. A second endoscopy was performed 24 h after indomethacin was initiated. Mucosal damage in the stomach and duodenum (hemorrhages, erosions, ulcers) was scored in accordance with Lanza et al. or counted numerically. Adverse reactions were documented. Ketotifen reduced indomethacin-induced gastric mucosal damage, reducing the mean gastric lesion score from 2.85 ± 0.20 in the placebo-treated group to 1.86 ± 0.36 and in the subjects pretreated with ketotifen for 7 days. Ketotifen protected (lesion score ≤1) 6 of 14 subjects pretreated for 7 days, whereas none of the 14 placebo-treated subjects were protected. Ketotifen had no statistically significant protective effects in the duodenum. In the open study lesion scores of patients pretreated with ketotifen for 24 h were similar to those pretreated for 7 days. Ketotifen is effective in the reduction of indomethacin-induced acute gastric mucosal injury. Further studies are required to verify these data in a more relevant clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-204
Number of pages3
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Duodenitis
  • Gastritis
  • Ketotifen
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


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