1 Histamine H2-receptor antagonists were tested for their effect on gastric emptying in the rat. 2 At low doses all the compounds were inactive except for burimamide which delayed and ranitidine which accelerated gastric emptying. 3 At high doses burimamide, metiamide, cimetidine and oxmetidine delayed, whereas ranitidine accelerated gastric emptying; tiotidine remained ineffective. 4 Changes in emptying rate were not accompanied by changes in emptying pattern which, with all the compounds examined, proceeded, as in the controls, by apparent first order kinetics. 5 The mechanism of the ranitidine-induced acceleration of gastric emptying seemed to be connected with an interference with the cholinergic system, whereas the mechanism of cimetidine- and oxmetidine-induced slowing of gastric emptying was apparently related to cholinolytic and possibly also relaxant effects of the compounds. 6 These different effects of the various H2-blockers are consistent with the idea that changes in emptying rate are independent of H2-receptor blockade.
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