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A review of esomeprazole in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
Dove Medical Press
Publication Date
  • Review
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the drugs of choice for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Esomeprazole is the latest PPI and was developed as the S-isomer of omeprazole as an attempt to improve its pharmacokinetic properties. Esomeprazole has been reported to have a somewhat higher potency in acid inhibition than other PPIs. Despite some controversy, data from clinical trials and meta-analyses indicate that esomeprazole 40 mg od for up to 8 weeks provided higher rates of healing of erosive GERD and a greater proportion of patients with sustained resolution of heartburn, than omeprazole 20 mg, lansoprazole 30 mg, or pantoprazole 40 mg od. Esomeprazole 20 mg od has also been shown to be more effective in maintaining healing of erosive GERD compared with lansoprazole 15 mg od or pantoprazole 20 mg od. However, it is not clear whether these statistically significant differences are of major clinical importance. Esomeprazole 20 mg od is superior to placebo for treatment of non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) but clinical trials have not shown any significant differences in efficacy between esomeprazole 20 mg and omeprazole 20 mg or pantoprazole 20 mg od. Lastly, although esomeprazole treatment in GERD has been reported to result in improvement of health-related quality of life (QoL) indices, no clinical trials have evaluated the possible differential effects of different PPIs on QoL in GERD.

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