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Inadomi JM, McIntyre L, Bernard L, Fendrick AM. Step-down from multiple- to single-dose proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): a prospective study of patients with heartburn or acid regurgitation completely relieved with PPIs. The American journal of gastroenterology. 2003 Sep 1; 98(9):1940-4.
OBJECTIVES: Management costs for gastroesophageal reflux disease are high because of the expensive medications used for maintenance therapy. Previous studies have illustrated the success of step-down from proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to less-expensive therapy once symptoms have abated. This study was conducted to determine whether patients requiring greater than single-dose PPI for initial symptom resolution could be stepped-down to single-dose PPI and whether this intervention decreased costs or adversely affected quality of life. METHODS: Consecutive patients in whom greater than single-dose PPI had completely alleviated reflux-type symptoms (heartburn or acid regurgitation) were recruited through the use of pharmacy records of PPI prescriptions. Eligible subjects completed baseline demographic information and quality-of-life surveys and were stepped-down to single-dose PPI (lansoprazole 30 mg or omeprazole 20 mg daily). Follow-up continued for 6 months or until subjects reported recurrence of reflux-type symptoms, at which point PPIs were reinstituted at the dose that had originally alleviated the subjects' symptoms. The primary outcome was the proportion of subjects in whom step-down was successful, defined as no recurrence of reflux-type symptoms on single-dose PPI. RESULTS: A total of 117 subjects enrolled in the study; all were followed to the primary endpoint. 79.5% did not report recurrent symptoms of heartburn or acid regurgitation during the 6 months after step-down to single-dose PPI. Logistic regression revealed that longer duration of PPI use before study enrollment was associated with greater likelihood of symptom recurrence with step-down. Although quality of life was not significantly altered, dyspepsia (excluding reflux-type symptoms) increased. Overall costs of management were reduced. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients rendered asymptomatic on greater than single-dose PPI might be subsequently stepped-down to single-dose therapy without recurrence of reflux-type symptoms. This intervention can decrease management costs without adversely affecting quality of life.