Primary Care Practitioners’ Views on the Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors Associated with Alginate-Antacids for Better Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptom Control: Results of a National Survey in Spain


Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a prevalent disease in Western countries. Despite effective treatment modalities, in some patients total symptom control is not achieved in clinical practice. A cross-sectional study was designed to assess primary care practitioners’ views on the effectiveness of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) as monotherapy in the control of the most common symptoms of GERD (heartburn and regurgitation), as well as to determine the level of implementation of the “combined therapy” (PPI + alginate-antacids). Methods: A questionnaire on different aspects of the management of GERD was completed by 1491 primary care physicians. The questionnaire was composed of 11 close-ended questions with one-choice answer, with a total of 52 items, covering the main data from patients presenting with GERD. Results: Treatment with PPI alone was mostly considered insufficient for the control of GERD symptoms. The combined treatment of PPI + alginate-antacids was used for 37% and 21% of physicians for treating heart-burn and regurgitation, respectively. A better control of symptoms, an increase in the onset of action and to reduce nocturnal acid breakthrough were the most frequently argued reasons for the use of PPI + alginate-antacids. A high percentage of participants believed that treatment with PPI alone was insufficient for the control of symptoms and 39.8% of physicians reported the persistence of heartburn, 38.6% the persistence of regurgitation and 43.2% the persistence of epigastric discomfort in more than 25% of their patients treated with PPI as monotherapy. The most common schedule for the use of the antacid medication was on demand. Conclusions: Spanish primary care physicians consider that a high proportion of GERD patients continue to suffer from symptoms during PPI treatment alone. Ondemand “combined therapy” (PPI + antacid) is considered an efficient option to control reflux symptoms still troublesome in patients with PPI treatment alone.

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Argila, C. , Belinchón, M. and Martínez, A. (2014) Primary Care Practitioners’ Views on the Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors Associated with Alginate-Antacids for Better Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptom Control: Results of a National Survey in Spain. Open Journal of Gastroenterology, 4, 335-345. doi: 10.4236/ojgas.2014.410048.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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