OBJECTIVE: This randomized, double-blind, multicenter study was conducted to confirm a previous finding that lansoprazole relieves heartburn faster than omeprazole in patients with erosive esophagitis. METHODS: A total of 3510 patients with erosive esophagitis and at least one episode of moderate to very severe daytime and/or nighttime heartburn during the 3 days immediately before the screening visit were randomized to lansoprazole 30 mg once daily or omeprazole 20 mg once daily for 8 wk. Patients recorded the presence and severity of daytime and nighttime heartburn in daily diaries. On treatment days 1-4, patients were telephoned to confirm the completion of their daily diary. The primary efficacy parameters were the percentage of heartburn-free days and heartburn-free nights, as well as the average severity of daytime and nighttime heartburn. RESULTS: During treatment day 1 and all evaluation time points including the entire 8-wk treatment period, significantly (p < 0.05) higher percentages of patients treated with lansoprazole than those treated with omeprazole did not experience a single episode of heartburn. Onset of heartburn relief was more rapid in lansoprazole-treated versus omeprazole-treated patients: on day 1, 33% versus 25% of lansoprazole- versus omeprazole-treated patients were heartburn-free. The percentages of heartburn-free days and heartburn-free nights were also significantly (p < 0.01) greater for patients treated with lansoprazole at all evaluation time points. Heartburn severity was significantly less among those treated with lansoprazole compared with omeprazole. Both treatments were safe and well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Over 8 wk, lansoprazole 30 mg once daily relieved heartburn symptoms faster and more effectively than omeprazole 20 mg once daily in patients with erosive esophagitis.
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