Aims: To assess the relative efficacies of lansoprazole 15 mg once daily, lansoprazole 30 mg once daily and ranitidine 300 mg b.d. in the maintenance treatment of reflux oesophagitis for 12 months.
Methods: Multicentre, out-patient, double-blind, parallel group, prospectively randomized clinical trial. Patients with grade 0, asymptomatic oesophagitis after 8 weeks of treatment with lansoprazole 30 mg once daily were randomized to receive lansoprazole 30 mg once daily (L30) (n = 75), lansoprazole 15 mg once daily (L15) (n = 86) or ranitidine 300 mg b.d. (R600) (n = 74) for 12 months. Endoscopy was repeated at 6 and 12 months, and symptomatic assessment was made every 3 months. Efficacy was primarily assessed by the time to endoscopically confirmed relapse (oesophagitis grade > or = 1) and the proportion of patients who relapsed during the 12-month study period. Severity of symptoms were secondary efficacy measures.
Results: For all patients randomized with at least one post-baseline endoscopy (intent-to-treat principle) both lansoprazole 15 mg (P < 0.001) and lansoprazole 30 mg (P < 0.001) were significantly superior to ranitidine 600 mg with respect to time to endoscopic relapse. There was no difference between the lansoprazole groups (P = 0.11). There was evidence of relapse in 27 of 86 (31.4%), 15 of 75 (20.0%) and 50 of 74 (67.6%) of the patients treated with lansoprazole 15 mg and 30 mg and ranitidine 600 mg, respectively. Patients receiving treatment with either lansoprazole dosages experienced significantly less severe heartburn and regurgitation than those patients treated with ranitidine. There were no differences between the treatment groups with respect to the severity or incidence of adverse events. No clinically significant laboratory changes were observed in any of the treatment groups. Serum gastrin levels were elevated in all treatment groups, and most markedly in those patients receiving lansoprazole, but there was no significant difference between the treatments. Morphological and immunohistochemical examination of the gastric biopsies revealed no clinically relevant changes from baseline in any of the treatment groups.
Conclusion: Both lansoprazole 15 mg and lansoprazole 30 mg once daily are significantly more effective than high-dose ranitidine in maintaining reflux oesophagitis in remission.