AbstractBackground and aims:
No consensus has been established regarding optimal long-term maintenance therapy in symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study was to compare the efficacies of on-demand and continuous therapy with esomeprazole as maintenance treatments for GERD.Methods:
Patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy-proven GERD who received initial proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy for 8 weeks were randomized to an on-demand group (esomeprazole 40 mg) or a continuous group (esomeprazole 20 mg). Intensities and frequencies of heartburn and acid regurgitation were assessed using a 6-point Likert scale (0 = no symptoms; 5 = very severe symptoms) and a 6-point frequency scale (0 = none; 5 = symptoms for > 5 days per week) at baseline (start of maintenance treatment) and after 12 weeks of treatment. Alleviation of symptoms was quantified using percentages of patients with a Likert scale or frequency scale of 0 or 1.Results:
Of the 88 patients enrolled, 8 patients were excluded due to follow-up loss in early period of this study, and finally, 39 in the on-demand group and 41 in the continuous group were analyzed. No significant intergroup difference was found between Likert scale or frequency scale of heartburn or regurgitation at baseline. Percentages of symptom alleviations in the on-demand and continuous groups for intensity of heartburn were 56.4%/48.8% at baseline (P = .523) and 82.1%/87.8% at 12 weeks (P = .471), for frequency of heartburn were 61.5%/46.3% at baseline (P = .173) and 76.9%/87.8% at 12 weeks (P = .200), for intensity of regurgitation was 53.8%/43.9% at baseline (P = .374) and 82.1%/87.8% at 12 weeks (P = .471), and for frequency of regurgitation was 61.5%/56.1% at the baseline (P = .621) and 82.1%/82.9% at 12 weeks (P = .918), respectively. Furthermore, no significant intergroup difference was found for convenience of medication or subjective satisfaction.Conclusions:
Intensities and frequencies of heartburn and regurgitation responded well to maintenance treatment in patients in the on-demand and continuous groups. On-demand therapy with esomeprazole 40 mg appears to be sufficient for maintenance treatment in GERD patients.