To evaluate the therapeutic potential of the newly developed proton pump inhibitor lansoprazole in patients with reflux oesophagitis, we performed a double-blind randomized clinical trial comparing 20 mg omeprazole and 30 mg lansoprazole, involving 229 patients at 9 Scandinavian hospitals. The treatment period was 4 or 8 weeks, and main efficacy variables were healing of endoscopic changes, relief of reflux symptoms, and occurrence of adverse events. No significant difference in terms of healing was found, either after 4 or after 8 weeks' treatment. Patients receiving lansoprazole experienced a greater improvement in heartburn after 4 weeks (p = 0.03), and there was a similar trend for acid regurgitation. Lansoprazole was found to be an effective and safe alternative to omeprazole in short-term treatment of moderate reflux oesophagitis.