Background: There is limited knowledge of the diagnostic investigation rates and use of prescription and nonprescription drugs amongst dyspeptics. Aim: To assess the investigation rates and use of prescription and non-prescription anti-ulcer medications amongst dyspeptics in the population. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed of 2300 Australians. Results: Of 748 dyspeptics, 422 (56%) had consulted a doctor regarding dyspepsia at some time in their life. Of the consulters, 64% had undergone investigations at some time: 37% an endoscopy, 54% a barium meal and 27% both. A diagnosis of peptic ulcer was reported by 31% of those investigated. The symptom profile of gastroscopy patients differed significantly from that of uninvestigated dyspeptics. Of the consulters, 36% had taken anti-ulcer prescription drugs in the last 3 months: Histamine-2 receptor antagonists (73% of prescriptions), proton pump inhibitors (17%), cytoprotectants (5%) and prokinetic drugs (5%). Antacids were taken by 30% of non-consulting dyspeptics, 44% of consulters not on prescription drugs and 58% of dyspeptics taking prescription drugs. Advancing age, but not gender, was associated with diagnostic investigation and prescription and non-prescription drug usage. Conclusions: There are high rates of diagnostic investigation amongst dyspeptics who consult doctors. Many individuals with dyspepsia decide to self-medicate with antacids regardless of consulting or prescriptions, suggesting that current management is suboptimal.