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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Nov;13(11):1481-91.

Maintenance therapy with pantoprazole 20 mg prevents relapse of reflux oesophagitis.

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CHU Toulouse Rangueil, Toulouse, France.



Proton pump inhibitors can be effective as maintenance therapy in reducing the relapse rate of reflux oesophagitis at a dose lower than that used for acute healing.


Patients (n=396, 18-88 years old) with healed reflux oesophagitis (grade II or III before healing) were included in this multinational, prospective, parallel-group, randomized double-blind study. They took oral pantoprazole 20 mg (n=203) or 40 mg (n=193), once daily for up to 12 months. Scheduled endoscopies were performed at entry, after 6 and 12 months, or when symptoms of at least moderate intensity were perceived on 3 consecutive days; symptoms were assessed every 3 months. The primary efficacy parameter was the time until endoscopically proven relapse of reflux oesophagitis occurred; the secondary parameters included tolerability, safety and time until symptomatic relapse occurred.


Analysis was performed using the 'all-patients-treated' approach. Endoscopic relapse rates in the 20 mg group after 6 and 12 months were 16 and 29%, respectively; in the 40 mg group, they were 7 and 19%, respectively. Symptomatic relapse rates after 6 and 12 months were 14 and 21% in the 20 mg group and 10 and 17% in the 40 mg group, respectively. Pantoprazole 20 mg and 40 mg were well tolerated throughout the study; the type and frequency of adverse events reported were similar for both treatment groups.


The 20 mg dose was proven to be 'at least equivalent' to the 40 mg dose with respect to endoscopic and symptomatic relapse. The 20 mg once daily dose represents an effective and safe maintenance regimen for the majority of patients with healed reflux oesophagitis.

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