Background: Symptom relief, through adherence to appropriate maintenance therapy, is the sole objective of treatment for patients with endoscopy-negative gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Aim: To compare the efficacy of 'on-demand' treatment with esomeprazole 20 mg vs. continuous treatment with lansoprazole 15 mg daily in patients with endoscopy-negative gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Methods: Endoscopy-negative gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients who achieved complete resolution of heartburn after short-term (2-4 weeks) treatment with esomeprazole 20 mg (n = 774) were randomized to receive either esomeprazole 20 mg on-demand (n =311) or lansoprazole 15 mg continuous daily treatment (n = 311) for 6 months.
Results: Significantly more patients were willing to continue taking esomeprazole on-demand than lansoprazole continuous therapy after 6 months (93% vs. 88%; P = 0.02). This superior outcome was achieved despite patients on esomeprazole requiring medication only 38% as often as those on lansoprazole, leading to direct cost savings of more than one-third (36%). Furthermore, patients receiving esomeprazole 20 mg on-demand were more satisfied with their treatment after 1 month compared with patients taking lansoprazole 15 mg continuously.
Conclusions: In patients with endoscopy-negative gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, esomeprazole 20 mg on-demand is more acceptable to patients and is an economically more effective treatment than lansoprazole 15 mg continuously.