Background: The efficacy of omeprazole, 20 mg once daily, in the treatment of reflux oesophagitis and the therapeutic advantages over the histamine H2 receptor antagonists are well documented. This study assessed 20 mg omeprazole daily (OM20), 10 mg omeprazole daily (OM10), and 150 mg ranitidine (RAN) twice daily for symptom relief in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
Methods: Patients (n = 994) presenting with heartburn to their general practitioner underwent endoscopy to exclude peptic ulcer disease and were randomized into a UK, multicentre, parallel-group, double-blind comparison of the three treatments for 4 weeks. Symptoms were assessed at clinic visits after 2 and 4 weeks.
Results: Symptom relief after 4 weeks was achieved by 61% (OM20), 49% (OM10), and 40% (RAN) patients (OM20 versus OM10, P < 0.0167; OM20 versus RAN, P < 0.0001; OM10 versus RAN, P < 0.01). Among the patients (32%) with erosive reflux oesophagitis, symptom relief was achieved in 79% (OM20), 48% (OM10), and 33% (RAN) (OM20 versus OM10, P < 0.0001; OM20 versus RAN, P < 0.0001; OM1O versus RAN, NS).
Conclusion: Omeprazole, 20 mg, is the most effective initial therapy for relief of GORD symptoms.