Background: Many patients who present with dyspepsia are prescribed antacid/alginates as their first line and often mainstay therapy. This multicentre study was designed to assess whether early introduction of acid inhibition is an effective strategy in dyspepsia management.
Methods: Dyspeptic patients (n = 674) were randomized to receive either omeprazole 10 mg o.m. or antacid/alginate liquid 10 mL q.d.s. for 4 weeks in an open, parallel group study.
Results: Complete relief of the most common symptom at entry, heartburn, was greater in the omeprazole-treated group compared with the antacid/alginate-treated group (64 vs. 30%, respectively, at 4 weeks; P < 0.0001). The percentage of patients who met the stringent health target of complete relief of overall symptoms was higher in the omeprazole-treated group (41% at 4 weeks) compared with the antacid/alginate group (16% at 4 weeks; P < 0.0001). Comparisons of quality of life scores between treatments favoured the omeprazole group at 2 and 4 weeks for both the Psychological General Well-Being Index and the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (each P < or = 0.0009). In addition, a greater proportion of patients rated omeprazole to be more effective in symptom relief and more convenient to use (each P = 0.0001) than antacid/alginate.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that, compared to antacid/alginate liquid 10 mL q.d.s., omeprazole 10 mg o.m. is more effective in the management of dyspepsia symptoms and is the patients' preferred treatment.