Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Introduction : Esomeprazole, the first proton pump inhibitor to be developed as an optical isomer, has demonstrated more effective healing vs. omeprazole and lansoprazole in patients with reflux oesophagitis (RO). However, RO recurs in a high proportion (∼80%) of these patients within 12 months of initial therapy, highlighting the importance of maintenance treatment. Previous studies have shown esomeprazole to be effective as maintenance therapy in healed RO patients.Aim: This study was conducted to compare esomeprazole 20 mg once daily (o.d.) with lansoprazole 15 mg o.d. for the prevention of recurrence of RO.Methods: 1391 patients with endoscopically verified RO (LA classification) were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, multicentre trial. During the initial healing phase of the study, all patients received 4–8 weeks' open treatment with esomeprazole 40 mg: 1236 healed (identified by endoscopy at 4 and 8 weeks) and symptom-free (i.e. no heartburn or acid regurgitation) patients were randomized to 6 months' maintenance treatment with esomeprazole 20 mg o.d. or lansoprazole 15 mg o.d.. Time to relapse (relapse of RO and/or discontinuation due to symptom recurrence) was analysed using a log-rank test.Results: Esomeprazole maintained a significantly higher proportion of patients in remission than lansoprazole over the 6-month course of treatment (P 〈 0.0001, intention-to-treat analysis). After 6 months' treatment, 83% of esomeprazole recipients were in remission compared with 74% of lansoprazole recipients (life-table estimates). Esomeprazole gave a longer time to relapse than lansoprazole irrespective of baseline LA Grade, significantly so for baseline LA Grades B, C and D (P 〈 0.05 for each comparison). Significantly more patients were free from heartburn in the esomeprazole group compared with the lansoprazole group at 1, 3 and 6 months (P 〈 0.05). Significant differences at 6 months between esomeprazole 20 mg o.d. and lansoprazole 15 mg o.d. were also observed for control of epigastric pain and acid regurgitation (P 〈 0.05 and P 〈 0.001, respectively). Both treatment regimens were well tolerated.Conclusion: Esomeprazole 20 mg o.d. is a more effective maintenance treatment than lansoprazole 15 mg o.d. for symptom-free patients with healed RO.
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