Objective: Prompt and long-standing acid control following once-daily administration of antisecretory drugs is desirable. The objective of this study was to determine whether co-administration of a well-characterized H2-receptor antagonist, famotidine, can be combined with the proton-pump inhibitor omeprazole.
Material and methods: Intragastric 24-h pH-metry was performed in healthy, Helicobacter pylori-negative volunteers on day 1 and after 8 days of daily administration of 20 mg omeprazole, 10 mg famotidine, or a combination of these in a three-way crossover design.
Results: A combination of famotidine and omeprazole raised the gastric pH level to >4 in less than 1 h. The percentage of daytime with pH > 4 on day 1 was significantly higher with the combination of omeprazole and famotidine (median: 37%) than that with omeprazole alone (22%; p < 0.05). On day 8, daytime intragastric pH > 4 following treatment with omeprazole (median: 55%) or a combination of omeprazole and famotidine (61%) was superior (p < 0.05) to that with famotidine (21%). On day 1 treatment with both famotidine and the combination (famotidine and omeprazole) showed a significantly shorter time to reach a pH of 4 (medians: 93 and 63 min, respectively) compared with treatment with omeprazole alone (173 min; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Compared with treatment with omeprazole alone, on day 1 famotidine and omeprazole in combination improved the duration of and time to reach intragastric pH > 4. With regard to duration with pH > 4, the combination therapy was superior to famotidine alone on day 8. The rapid acid control with an H2-receptor antagonist may be combined with the long-lasting antisecretory effect of a proton-pump inhibitor.