Background: Rabeprazole has been shown to be more potent and faster than other proton pump inhibitors in in vitro studies and highly effective in decreasing oesophageal acid exposure in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Aim: This study was a multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel-group comparison of three active treatment regimens utilizing two different proton pump inhibitors, or placebo, administered over 7 days in patients with GERD.
Methods: Eighty-two patients with symptomatic GERD were given placebo, rabeprazole 10 mg b.d., rabeprazole 20 mg o.m., or omeprazole 20 mg o.m. for 7 days. Twenty-four hour oesophageal pH monitoring was performed at baseline and repeated at the conclusion of the treatment period.
Results: At the end of study, the percentage time (mean +/- s.d.) with pH < 4 over a 24-h period was significantly decreased by the three active regimens but without significant difference between them (9.27 +/- 4.77; 2.53 +/- 4.27; 2.02 +/- 1.71 and 2.91 +/- 4.06 for placebo, rabeprazole 10 mg b.d., rabeprazole 20 mg o.m. and omeprazole 20 mg o.m., respectively). Acid exposure was normalized in 90% of patients treated with rabeprazole 10 mg b.d., 95% treated with rabeprazole 20 mg o.m., 78% treated with omeprazole 20 mg o.m., and only 9.5% of patients treated with placebo. Both rabeprazole and omeprazole were well-tolerated.
Conclusions: Although rabeprazole 20 mg o.m. showed greater activity numerically, this study demonstrates that rabeprazole 10 mg b.d. and 20 mg o.m. are equivalent to omeprazole 20 mg o.m. in decreasing oesophageal acid exposure.