To determine whether a large-dose antacid regimen is effective in promoting healing of duodenal ulcer, 74 patients with endoscopically proved duodenal ulcer completed a 28-day double-blind clinical trial comparing such a regimen with an inert placebo. The ulcer healed completely in 28 of the 36 antacid-treated as compared to 17 of the 38 placebo-treated patients (P less than 0.005). The antacid regimen was not more effective than placebo in relieving ulcer symptoms. Presence or absence of symptoms during the fourth treatment week was a poor predictor of presence or absence of an ulcer crater. Ulcers of placebo-treated patients who smoked cigarettes were less likely to heal than those of nonsmokers (P = 0.03). Except for mild diarrhea, no side effects of the antacid regimen were observed. We conclude that a large-dose antacid regimen hastens the healing of duodenal ulcer.