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In Japan, treatment guidelines are lacking for patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms. We aimed to compare the efficacy of different drugs for the treatment of uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms.
This was a randomized, open-label, parallel-group multicenter study. Helicobacter pylori-negative, endoscopically uninvestigated patients≥20years of age with upper gastrointestinal symptoms of at least moderate severity (Global Overall Symptom score [GOS]≥4 on a 7-point Likert scale) were randomized to treatment with omeprazole (10mg once daily), famotidine (10mg twice daily), mosapride (5mg three times daily) or teprenone (50mg three times daily). The primary endpoint was sufficient relief of upper gastrointestinal symptoms after 4weeks of treatment (GOS≤2). UMIN clinical trial registration number: UMIN000005399.
Of 471 randomized patients, 454 were included in the full analysis set. After 4weeks of treatment, sufficient symptom relief was achieved by 66.9% of patients in the omeprazole group, compared with 41.0%, 36.3% and 32.3% in the famotidine, mosapride and teprenone groups, respectively (all, p<0.001 vs omeprazole). There were no treatment-related adverse events.
The favorable efficacy and safety profiles of omeprazole in relieving uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms support its use as first-line treatment in this patient group in Japan. Patients who show no improvement in symptoms despite PPI use, and those with alarm symptoms (such as vomiting, GI bleeding or acute weight loss) should receive further investigation, including prompt referral for endoscopy.