As part of the safety evaluation of the gastric antisecretory drug, omeprazole, toxicological studies have been performed in several species of animals. The acute toxicity after oral administration to rodents was low. The oral LD50 value was above 4 g/kg. The general toxicity after repeated administration has been studied in rats and dogs. No clinical signs of adverse reactions were seen. Some minor changes in hematology parameters were observed. In rats and mice decreases in the erythrocyte count, hematocrit and hemoglobin have occasionally been found at doses of 125 mumol/kg/day and more. Hyperplasia of oxyntic mucosal cells, concomitant with increases in stomach weight, oxyntic mucosal thickness and folding, has been observed in the species investigated, the dog, rat and mouse. In addition, slight chief cell atrophy and eosinophilia of the chief cell granules were observed in rats. The oxyntic mucosal effects were reversible upon treatment being discontinued. In the oncogenicity studies, gastric carcinoids occurred in the rat but not in the mouse. Investigations of the carcinoids showed that the vast majority of the endocrine cells could be characterised as ECL-cells. The hyperplasia of oxyntic mucosal cells, including hyperplasia of endocrine ECL-cells and development of gastric carcinoids in rats, is attributable to the pronounced hypergastrinemia produced as a secondary effect of almost complete inhibition of acid secretion by the large doses of omeprazole used in the toxicity studies. In agreement with this hypothesis, the hyperplasia of the oxyntic cells was prevented by antrectomy. The reproduction studies performed in rats and rabbits showed no sign of fetal toxicity or teratogenic effect. The results of the short-term mutagenicity tests, Ames test, the micronucleus test in mice and the mouse lymphoma test were all negative.