Ranitidine bismuth citrate, a new chemical entity which is a salt complex of ranitidine and bismuth citrate, is being developed for the treatment of relapse of benign gastric and duodenal ulcer and eradication of Helicobacter pylori. The aim of the present study was to establish whether ranitidine bismuth citrate (800 mg) or ranitidine hydrochloride (300 mg) have any effect on gastric emptying of a liquid meal using gamma scintigraphy. On three separate occasions, each of twelve subjects received a single oral tablet of 800 mg ranitidine bismuth citrate, 300 mg ranitidine hydrochloride or placebo in random order. Thirty minutes after dosing each subject was given 375 ml of 99mTc-DTPA (diethylene triaminepentaacetic acid) labelled Clinifeed-ISO. The primary endpoint was the time to 50% gastric emptying (t50%). The proportion of the meal remaining was summarised by weighted mean proportion of the meal remaining in the stomach over 0-60 min and 0-180 min, separately. No differences were observed for t50%, weighted mean 0-60 min, and weighted mean 0-180 min between any two treatments. In man, we have detected no significant effect of single oral doses of ranitidine bismuth citrate 800 mg or ranitidine hydrochloride 300 mg on the rate of gastric emptying of a liquid meal when compared with placebo.