Continuous treatment with omeprazole 20 mg daily for up to 6 years in Barrett's oesophagus

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1998 Sep;12(9):893-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1998.00389.x.


Background: Because of the malignant potential of Barrett's oesophagus, an aim of treatment is to cause the columnar epithelium to regress. A logical approach is to decrease acid reflux which is an important aetiological factor in Barrett's oesophagus. Treatment with omeprazole 20-80 mg over 1-3 years has yielded conflicting but largely disappointing results.

Aim: To determine if treatment of Barrett's oesophagus with omeprazole 20 mg daily for up to 6 years can cause regression of the Barrett's epithelium.

Patients and methods: Forty-seven patients with Barrett's oesophagus were treated in an open prospective study. Nine patients were treated for 2 years, 12 for 3 years, 10 for 4 years, eight for 5 years and eight for 6 years. Patients were endoscoped at 1-2-year intervals and endoscoped at the end of the treatment period.

Results: No significant shortening of the length of the Barrett's segment was seen during any treatment period, although omeprazole controlled reflux symptoms and was well tolerated. Macroscopic squamous islands appeared in 55% of patients, mostly in the first 2-3 years although in five patients they appeared later in treatment.

Conclusion: Treatment of Barrett's oesophagus with omeprazole 20 mg daily for periods of up to 6 years did not cause regression in the length of the Barrett's segment, but it did lead in over half of the patients to partial re-epithelialization in the form of squamous islands.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Barrett Esophagus / drug therapy*
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / administration & dosage
  • Omeprazole / adverse effects
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Omeprazole