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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul;38(2):190-201. doi: 10.1111/apt.12349. Epub 2013 May 29.

Indirect comparison of randomised controlled trials: comparative efficacy of dexlansoprazole vs. esomeprazole in the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Taiwan National University, Taipei, Taiwan.



Dexlansoprazole is a new proton pump inhibitor (PPI) with a dual delayed-release system. Both dexlansoprazole and esomeprazole are an enantiomer of lansoprazole and omeprazole respectively. However, there is no head-to-head trial data or indirect comparison analyses between dexlansoprazole and esomeprazole.


To compare the efficacy of dexlansoprazole with esomeprazole in healing erosive oesophagitis (EO), the maintenance of healed EO and the treatment of non-erosive reflux disease (NERD).


Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) comparing dexlansoprazole or esomeprazole with either placebo or another PPI were systematically reviewed. Random-effect meta-analyses and adjusted indirect comparisons were conducted to compare the treatment effect of dexlansoprazole and esomeprazole using a common comparator. The relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.


The indirect comparisons revealed significant differences in symptom control of heartburn in patients with NERD at 4 weeks. Dexlansoprazole 30 mg was more effective than esomeprazole 20 mg or 40 mg (RR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.15-3.51; RR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.39-3.38). However, there were no statistically significant differences between the two drugs in EO healing and maintenance of healed EO. Comparison of symptom control in healed EO was not able to be made due to different definitions used in the RCTs.


Adjusted indirect comparisons based on currently available RCT data suggested significantly better treatment effect in symptom control of heartburn in patients with NERD for dexlansoprazole against esomeprazole. No statistically significant differences were found in other EO outcomes. However, these study findings need to be interpreted with caution due to small number of studies and other limitations.

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