We conducted a double-blind randomized study of 132 patients to determine whether the new, investigational proton-pump inhibitor, omeprazole (30 mg per day), would accelerate healing and pain relief, as compared with cimetidine (1 g per day), in patients with duodenal ulcer. After two weeks of treatment, which was completed by all patients, the healing rates were 73 per cent in the omeprazole group and 46 per cent in the cimetidine group (P less than 0.01). After four weeks of treatment, which was completed by 118 patients, the corresponding figures were 92 and 74 per cent (P less than 0.05). In the omeprazole group 55 per cent of the patients were free of pain after the first week, as compared with 40 per cent of those treated with cimetidine (P greater than 0.05). No major clinical or biochemical side effects of omeprazole or cimetidine were noted. A six-month follow-up study revealed no significant difference between the recurrence rates after omeprazole and after cimetidine treatment. In May 1984 clinical trials with omeprazole were temporarily suspended, since a study of long-term toxicity in rats had shown the development of gastric carcinoid tumors.