Efficacy of Drugs Used in Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux: Network Meta-Analysis


Introduction: It is important to rank the clinical efficacy of different anti-reflux agents to promote their rational use. Objective: To combine the results of randomized clinical trials that have compared the incidence of symptoms related to gastro-oesophageal reflux (GER) with/without endoscopic evidence of oesophagitis in a network meta-analysis and thus rank the main anti-reflux therapies according to the magnitude of their clinical efficacy. Method: Inclusion criteria: 1) randomized controlled trials that compare anti-reflux agents (alginates (ALG), proton-pump inhibitors (PPI), H2 histamine receptor antagonists (H2RA), antacids (AA), gastrokinetics (GK)) in open designs as compared to placebo or in comparative designs (head-to-head); 2) outcome of interest measured in some scale representing the significant improvement of reflux symptoms; 3) GER diagnosis with/without oesophagitis endoscopic evidence. We collected available clinical trials for each one of the direct comparisons. The Odds Ratio (OR) was used additionally to calculating lnOR and its Standard Error (SE[lnOR]) to measure effects in a network meta-analysis. Results: Network meta-analysis has placebo as a reference intervention. Initial treatments with PPI or ALG are the two interventions that significantly differ from the others: H2RA, AA and GK. At the same time, the latter are significantly different from the placebo. In contrast to placebo, ORs for ALG, PPI, H2RA, AA and GK were 4.72 (95% CI: 3.39, 6.57), 4.00 (95% CI: 3.30, 4.85), 1.73 (95% CI: 1.54, 1.95), 1.41 (95% CI: 1.12, 1.76), and 1.86 (95% CI: 1.32, 2.63), respectively. Conclusion: ALG or PPI seem to be the two most effective alternatives in short-time management of GER with or without oesophagitis.

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R. Bolaños-Díaz, H. Velarde-Criado and E. Cóndor-Mori, "Efficacy of Drugs Used in Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux: Network Meta-Analysis," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 201-208. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.42028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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