A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study was carried out in 56 patients with essential dyspepsia to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of cimetidine in providing symptomatic relief. Patients received either 1 tablet of cimetidine (400 mg) or identical looking placebo twice daily for a period of 4 weeks. A detailed symptomatic assessment was made at weekly intervals. Abdominal pain, the primary symptom, was relieved in a higher proportion of cimetidine-treated patients compared to placebo group (67% versus 40%, p less than 0.05). Most of the secondary gastro-intestinal symptoms also improved in a higher proportion of patients in the cimetidine group although the difference was statistically not significant. The outcome of treatment was not influenced by factors such as duration of disease, initial severity of pain and smoking habits of the patient.