A total of 124 subjects who were undergoing routine endoscopy were randomly assigned to one of three groups. All three groups received lignocaine throat spray. The first group additionally received midazolam, the second received hypnosis, whilst the third only received lignocaine throat spray. Although hypnotized patients were deemed by an independent observer to be less agitated than the other two groups (p < 0.03), they reported the gastroscopy to be significantly more uncomfortable (p < 0.042) and scored higher in their memory for the procedure (p < 0.001). They also took slightly longer to induce than the midazolam group. The midazolam group on the other hand rated the procedure as significantly more comfortable although paradoxically were seen by an independent observer as being more agitated. They were also significantly more amnesic. The endoscopist encountered more procedural difficulties with this group but this did not reach levels of significance. Hypnosis was not shown to be an effective alternative to intravenous sedation in gastroscopy.