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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Apr 1;21(7):805-12.

Long-term treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients with frequent symptomatic relapses using rabeprazole: on-demand treatment compared with continuous treatment.

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Hepatogastroenterology Department, Le Mans Hospital, 72037 Le Mans, France.



On-demand treatment may be an alternative in the long-term treatment of non-severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in patients with frequent symptomatic relapses.


To compare the efficacy of on-demand treatment with rabeprazole 10 mg versus continuous treatment in the long-term treatment of patients with frequent symptomatic relapses of mild to moderate gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.


This randomized, open-label study enrolled patients diagnosed with non-erosive reflux disease or oesophagitis grade 1 or 2 (Savary-Miller classification) reporting frequent symptomatic relapses (requiring > or =2 courses of antisecretory therapy during the previous year), whose intensity is rated at least moderate (>2 on a 5-point Likert scale). After a 4-week selection phase with rabeprazole 10 mg once daily, patients reporting symptom relief (Likert score < or =2) were randomized to receive either rabeprazole 10 mg continuous treatment or on-demand treatment for 6 months. The main evaluation criterion was the rate of symptom relief (scored on the Likert scale) after 6 months.


One hundred and seventy-six patients were enrolled in the 4-week selection phase (men, 53%; mean age, 49 years; non-erosive reflux disease, 36.4%; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease 1, 53.4%; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease 2, 10.2%). Rabeprazole relieved symptoms in 88.6% of patients. Of this group, 152 were randomized to the comparative phase to receive rabeprazole 10 mg continuous treatment (once daily) or on-demand treatment (continuous treatment, n = 81; on-demand treatment, n = 71). At month 6 (end point), the symptom relief rate was slightly higher for patients in the continuous treatment group compared with those in the on-demand treatment group: 86.4% versus 74.6%, respectively. This difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.065). For the overall quality of life score, there was no difference between the continuous treatment and on-demand treatment groups (86.25 and 84.94). Mean daily consumption of rabeprazole was significantly lower in the on-demand treatment group versus the continuous treatment group (0.31 tablets versus 0.96 tablets; P < 0.0001).


On-demand therapy with rabeprazole 10 mg provides an alternative to continuous therapy in patients with mild to moderate gastro-oesophageal reflux disease suffering from frequent symptomatic relapses.

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