The effect of the long-acting somatostatin analogue Sandostatin (SMS 201-995) on intestinal absorption and propagation (mouth-to-caecum transit time; MCTT), on pancreatic secretion and on gall bladder contraction after direct (secretin-pancreozymin test) and indirect stimulation (Lundh meal), and on meal-induced responses of seven gastrointestinal regulatory peptides has been investigated. In a double-blind cross-over study, 9 healthy volunteers completed two 7-day periods with subcutaneous injections of either placebo or 25 micrograms SMS 201-995 twice daily. Mean faecal fat excretion was increased to 19.2 g/day and MCTT was three times longer during the SMS period. After duodenal infusion of a mixture containing D-galactose, D-xylose and triglycerides, SMS 201-995 significantly reduced the serum concentrations of D-galactose but increased serum levels of D-xylose. After 6 days of pretreatment, SMS 201-995 completely suppressed duodenal trypsin, lipase and bilirubin increases in response to endogenous stimulation by a Lundh meal. Concomitantly, cholecystokinin (CCK) release and gall bladder contraction were almost abolished. Compared with placebo, SMS 201-995 significantly diminished pancreatic amylase, trypsin and lipase output after stimulation with CCK, while the secretion of fluid and bicarbonate in response to secretin was unchanged. This inhibition of enzyme response was significantly more marked after a single injection of the analogue than after pretreatment for 7 days and did not reach the level of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. CCK-induced gall bladder contraction was significantly inhibited by a single dose of 25 micrograms SMS 201-995 but not after 7 days of pretreatment with the somatostatin analogue.