In the early years of intensive care a stress ulcer related bleeding, occurring in 20-30% of the IC population, became recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Due to improved intensive care medicine (including adequate early resuscitation, analgesia, sedation) the incidence of stress ulcer-related bleeding in the IC has decreased markedly. Without pharmacological prophylaxis incidences ranging from 0.6 to 6% were reported. It is not recommended to apply stress ulcer prophylaxis on a routine basis, it should be reserved for patients with an increased risk of a stress ulcer-related bleeding. In patients with neurotrauma, severe burn, recent peptic ulcer or bleeding and those with coagulopathy prophylaxis with ranitidine is advised.