Calcium channel antagonists are commonly used drugs that have recently been reported to be associated with an increased incidence of gastrointestinal hemorrhage. We performed a retrospective cohort study among 105,824 enrollees of the Tennessee Medicaid program 65 years of age or older between 1984 and 1986. Exposure to calcium channel blockers and other medications was determined from pharmacy files. Hospitalization for bleeding peptic ulcers was identified by hospital claims and verified by a review of the medical record. Univariate estimates of relative risk for current users of calcium channel blockers and beta-blocker users were 1.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-2.7) and 1.1 (95% CI 0.7-1.6) (reference group was nonuse of either). After adjustment for potential confounders, the relative risks for bleeding peptic ulcer among current users of calcium channel blockers and beta blockers were 1.1 (95% CI 0.7-1.7) and 1.0 (95% CI 0.7-1.6), respectively, when compared with those who used neither drug. In this population, after controlling for important confounders, there was no increased risk for hospitalization with bleeding peptic ulcer among users of calcium channel blockers.