Summary Background The use of proton pump inhibitors for prevention of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced gastrointestinal adverse events is well documented. However, data regarding the efficacy and safety of this approach in Japan are scarce. Aim To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of esomeprazole in preventing NSAID-induced peptic ulcers in Japanese at-risk patients. Methods Male and female Japanese adult patients (aged ≥20 years) with endoscopically confirmed history of peptic ulcers who required long-term oral NSAID therapy for a chronic inflammatory condition were randomised to 24 weeks' treatment with esomeprazole 20 mg once daily or matching placebo. The primary end point was the Kaplan-Meier estimated proportion of ulcer-free patients. Results Overall, 343 patients were randomised to treatment (esomeprazole, n = 175; placebo, n = 168). The Kaplan-Meier estimated ulcer-free rate over the 24-week treatment period was significantly higher (log-rank P < 0.001) in esomeprazole-treated patients (96.0%; 95% CI 92.8, 99.1) than in placebo recipients (64.4%; 95% CI 56.8, 71.9). Esomeprazole was effective at preventing peptic ulcers in both Helicobacter pylori-positive and -negative patients (96.3% vs. 95.5% of patients ulcer-free, respectively); however, in the placebo group, the proportion of ulcer-free patients at 24 weeks was markedly lower among H. pylori-positive than -negative patients (59.7% vs. 69.9%). The NSAID type did not seem to affect the estimated ulcer-free rate with esomeprazole. Treatment with esomeprazole was well tolerated. Conclusion Esomeprazole 20 mg once daily is effective and safe in preventing ulcer recurrence in Japanese patients with a definite history of peptic ulcers who were taking an NSAID (identifier: NCT00542789).
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