Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a common disorder and symptoms can be mild to severe. Management of the disease should be individualized. Life-style changes are important for all patients. Drug therapy is often necessary but only very few patients with severe disease need surgical treatment. The purpose of this article is to focus on drug therapy and to review the clinical trials of all the drugs used for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Thereafter, judged solely on the data derived from these trials, a practical approach to the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is suggested.