To evaluate the therapeutic effect of glypressin (triglycyl-lysine-vasopressin, C52H74N16O15S2.2C2H4O2.5H2O) in the treatment of oesophageal variceal bleeding, a randomized controlled trial of glypressin and vasopressin was conducted in 54 cirrhotic patients with oesophageal varices bleeding. Bleeding ceased within 24 h in 50% (13/26) of patients treated with glypressin and in 53.6% (15/28) of patients given vasopressin. Re-bleeding within 7 days occurred in 30.8% (4/13) of the glypressin group and in 20.0% (3/15) of the vasopressin group. There was no statistically significant difference in the therapeutic effect between glypressin and vasopressin. In the glypressin group, bleeding was more easily stopped in non-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cirrhotic patients of Pugh's criteria A or B than in patients of Pugh's criterion C or HCC. We conclude that glypressin and vasopressin have similar therapeutic effect. In considering the application convenience, glypressin is an alternative to vasopressin in the treatment of bleeding varices in patients of good liver function reserve.