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Background:

Esomeprazole is a new proton pump inhibitor, which has been compared to omeprazole for the treatment of reflux oesophagitis in clinical trials.

Aim:

To compare the effectiveness of esomeprazole with the recommended dose of proton pump inhibitors in the healing of reflux oesophagitis, using omeprazole as a common comparator.

Methods:

Systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Extraction and re-analysis of data to provide ‘intention-to-treat’ results. Meta-analysis using a Fixed Effects model.

Results:

A meta-analysis of healing rates of esomeprazole 40 mg compared to omeprazole 20 mg gave the following results: at 4 weeks (relative risk 1.14; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.18) and 8 weeks (RR 1.08; 95%CI: 1.05, 1.10). Other proton pump inhibitors compared to omeprazole 20 mg are as follows: lansoprazole 30 mg at 4 weeks (RR 1.02; 95%CI: 0.97, 1.08) and 8 weeks (RR 1.01; 95%CI: 0.97, 1.06); pantoprazole 40 mg at 4 weeks (RR 0.99; 95%CI: 0.91, 1.07) and 8 weeks (RR 0.98; 95%CI: 0.93, 1.04); rabeprazole 20 mg at 4 weeks (RR 1.00; 95%CI: 0.87, 1.14) and 8 weeks (RR 0.98; 95%CI: 0.91, 1.05).

Conclusions:

Esomeprazole has demonstrated higher healing rates than omeprazole at 4 and 8 weeks. Other proton pump inhibitors (lansoprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole) have not shown higher healing rates when compared with omeprazole.