Background: Nighttime heartburn, common among patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is associated with substantial clinical effects. GERD-related sleep disturbances are underappreciated and undertreated.
Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of esomeprazole on GERD-related nighttime heartburn and associated sleep disturbances.
Methods: In this multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with moderate-to-severe nighttime heartburn and GERD-related sleep disturbances (endoscopies not required) received esomeprazole 20 mg or placebo each morning for 4 weeks. Heartburn symptoms and GERD-related sleep disturbances were evaluated using the validated Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and validated Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire.
Results: The analysis included 262 patients (esomeprazole, n = 137; placebo, n = 125). Significantly more patients receiving esomeprazole achieved nighttime heartburn relief (primary end point) than those receiving placebo (34.3% vs. 10.4%; P < 0.0001). Secondary end points such as relief of GERD-related sleep disturbances (P = 0.006), days without GERD-related sleep disturbances (P = 0.0003) and complete resolution of sleep disturbances (P < 0.0001) favoured esomeprazole over placebo. Sleep quality, work productivity and regular daily activities also improved significantly with esomeprazole vs. placebo.
Conclusions: Esomeprazole 20 mg is effective for patients with moderate-to-severe nighttime heartburn and GERD-related sleep disturbances, improving heartburn symptoms, sleep quality, work productivity and functionality.