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Background:

Proton pump inhibitors are superior to H2-receptor antagonists in the prevention of relapse of oesophagitis, but few data directly compare the relative efficacies of lansoprazole and omeprazole in preventing oesophagitis relapse over a prolonged period.

Methods:

Patients with healed Grade II, III or IV oesophagitis were treated with lansoprazole 30 mg o.d. or omeprazole 20 mg o.d. for 48 weeks. Endoscopy and symptom assessment were performed after 12, 24 and 48 weeks of treatment and an additional symptom assessment 36 weeks after starting treatment.

Results:

Intention-to-treat analysis included 248 patients (lansoprazole n = 126, omeprazole n = 122). Comparison of time to endoscopic and/or symptomatic relapse revealed no difference between the treatments. There was no significant difference between treatments with respect to the proportion of patients in whom endoscopic and/or symptomatic relapse was reported (lansoprazole 12/126 (9.5%), omeprazole 11/122 (9.0%)). No difference between the treatments in either the number or severity of adverse events was reported.

Conclusions:

Continuous treatment with either lansoprazole 30 mg or omeprazole 20 mg is effective in preventing the relapse of oesophagitis over a 48-week period in a majority of patients. Both treatments exhibit a similar side-effect profile.