Randomised clinical trial: Sustained response to PPI treatment of symptoms resembling functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome in patients suffering from an overlap with erosive gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
Background Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are highly prevalent gastrointestinal conditions with accumulating evidence of overlap in patients. Despite availability of a vast body of research related to individual disorders, major pharmacological breakthrough in treatment of the overlap condition is still lacking. Aim To assess sustainability of GERD healing and whether known beneficial effects of proton pump inhibitor treatment on GERD also extend to symptoms suggestive of FD and IBS. Methods A total of 626 patients with reflux oesophagitis were treated with pantoprazole for up to 16 weeks depending on healing of GERD, followed by an observational phase of up to 6 months without treatment. Rates of patients suffering from GERD, FD or IBS were assessed at baseline, and at last visits of treatment and observational phase. Results Rates of patients with reflux oesophagitis and concomitantly with reflux symptoms, FD or IBS were each significantly lower after pantoprazole treatment (P < 0.0001). While rates of patients with reflux signs or symptoms increased again during observational phase, rates of FD and IBS were maintained at the low level after cessation of medication (P < 0.0001). Conclusions Pantoprazole is efficacious in the treatment of patients suffering from signs and symptoms suggesting an overlap of GERD, FD and/or IBS, providing a sustained response post-treatment in FD and IBS symptom categories. Mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of improvement in reflux oesophagitis on symptoms suggestive of FD or IBS still need to be determined. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.