Background: Proton-pump inhibitors are often recommended for continuous use in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, but this may not be necessary in all patients. Aim: To ascertain the level of evidence for alternative strategies for proton-pump inhibitor treatment in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Methods: We searched for observational or interventional studies examining alternatives to continuous proton-pump inhibitor treatment in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Results: Non-randomized studies suggest that some patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, including some with erosive oesophagitis, may be adequately maintained on proton-pump inhibitor therapy given less frequently than once daily. However, the results may not be generalizable. Four high quality randomized-controlled trials compared 'on-demand' proton-pump inhibitor and placebo treatment in endoscopy-negative reflux disease; all found this effective for most patients. One high quality randomized-controlled trial found intermittent courses of a proton-pump inhibitor or H2-receptor antagonist in erosive oesophagitis or endoscopy-negative reflux disease adequate for almost half of the patients studied. Up to 80% of patients on continuous high-dose proton-pump inhibitor treatment for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be 'stepped down' to less intensive therapy. Conclusions: On-demand proton-pump inhibitor treatment may be appropriate in endoscopy-negative reflux disease. In gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, patients taking more than once daily or high-dose proton-pump inhibitor treatment, a step down to once daily or standard dose therapy should be attempted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)