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World J Gastroenterol. 2005 May 28;11(20):3091-8.

Rabeprazole vs esomeprazole in non-erosive gastro-esophageal reflux disease: a randomized, double-blind study in urban Asia.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Changi General Hospital, 2 Simei Street 3, 529889 Singapore.



Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is becoming increasingly common in Asia. Data on the efficacy of proton pump inhibitors in patients with non-erosive GERD (NERD) in Asia is lacking. This double-blind study compared the efficacy and safety of rabeprazole with esomeprazole in relief of symptoms in patients with NERD.


One hundred and thirty-four patients with reflux symptoms of NERD and normal endoscopy were randomized to receive rabeprazole 10 mg or esomeprazole 20 mg once daily for 4 wk. Symptoms were recorded in a diary and changes in severity of symptoms noted.


At 4 wk of treatment, rabeprazole 10 mg and esomeprazole 20 mg were comparable with regards to the primary endpoint of time to achieve 24-h symptom-free interval for heartburn 8.5 d vs 9 d and regurgitation 6 d vs 7.5 d. Rabeprazole and esomeprazole were also similarly efficacious in term of patient's global evaluation with 96% of patients on rabeprazole and 87.9% of patients on esomeprazole, reporting that symptoms improved (P = NS). Satisfactory relief of day- and night-time symptoms was achieved in 98% of patients receiving rabeprazole and 81.4% of patients receiving esomeprazole. Adverse events were comparable in both groups (P = NS).


Rabeprazole 10 mg has a similar efficacy and safety profile in Asians with NERD as esomeprazole 20 mg. Further study is necessary to investigate whether the small differences between the two drugs seen in this study are related to the improved pharmacodynamic properties of rabeprazole. Both drugs were well tolerated.

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