Placebo-Controlled Discontinuation of Long-Term Acid-Suppressant Therapy: A Randomised Trial in General Practice

Jon Eik Zwisler, Dorte Ejg Jarbøl, Annmarie Touborg Lassen, Jakob Kragstrup, Niels Thorsgaard, Ove B Schaffalitzky de Muckadell

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Abstract

Objective. To investigate whether patients on long-term antisecretory medication need to continue treatment to control symptoms. Methods. A double-blinded randomised placebo-controlled trial in general practices in Denmark. Patients aged 18-90 who were treated with antisecretory drugs on a long-term basis were randomized to esomeprazole 40 mg or identical placebo. Outcome measures were time to discontinuation with trial medication due to failed symptom control analysed as survival data. The proportion of patients stopping trial medication during the one-year follow-up was estimated. Results. A total of 171 patients were included with a median prior duration of antisecretory treatment of four years (range: 0.5 to 14.6 years). 86 patients received esomeprazole 40 mg and 85 patients received placebo. At 12 months, statistically significantly more patients in the placebo group had discontinued (73% (62/85)) compared with the esomeprazole group (21% (18/86); p < 0.001). Conclusions. Long-term users of antisecretory drugs showed a preference for the active drug compared to placebo. However, 27% of patients continued on placebo throughout the study and did not need to reinstitute usual treatment. One in five patients treated with esomeprazole discontinued trial medication due to unsatisfactory symptom control. Discontinuation of antisecretory treatment should be considered in long-term users of antisecretory drugs. This trial is registered with Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00120315.

Original languageEnglish
Article number175436
JournalInternational journal of family medicine
Volume2015
Number of pages8
ISSN2090-2042
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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