Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Safety and tolerability of esomeprazole in children with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate safety, tolerability, and symptom improvement with once-daily esomeprazole in children with endoscopically proven gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this 8-week, multicenter, randomized, uncontrolled, double-blind study, children ages 1 to 11 years were stratified by weight to receive esomeprazole 5 or 10 mg (children <20 kg) or 10 or 20 mg (children >or=20 kg) once daily. Safety and tolerability was assessed by evaluating adverse events (AEs; both treatment- and non-treatment-related AEs) and changes from baseline in medical history, physical examinations, and clinical laboratory tests. Investigators scored symptom severity every 2 weeks using the Physician's Global Assessment (PGA). Patients' parents rated GERD symptoms of heartburn, acid regurgitation, and epigastric pain (none to severe, 0-3) at baseline (based on past 72 hours) and daily (from past 24 hours).

RESULTS: Of 109 patients randomized, 108 had safety data. AEs were experienced by 68.0% and 65.2% of children <20 kg receiving esomeprazole 5 and 10 mg, respectively, and 83.9% and 82.8% of children >or=20 kg receiving esomeprazole 10 and 20 mg, respectively, regardless of causality. Overall, only 9.3% of patients reported 13 treatment-related AEs; the most common were diarrhea (2.8% [3/108]), headache (1.9% [2/108]), and somnolence (1.9% [2/108]). Vomiting, a serious AE in 2 patients, was not judged by the investigator to be related to treatment. At the final visit, PGA scores improved significantly from baseline (P < 0.001). Of 58 patients with moderate to severe baseline PGA symptom scores, 91.4% had lower scores by the final visit. GERD symptom scores were significantly improved from baseline to the final week of the study in all of the treatment groups (P < 0.01)

CONCLUSIONS: In children ages 1 to 11 years with endoscopically proven GERD, esomeprazole (at daily doses of 5, 10, or 20 mg) was generally well tolerated. The frequency and severity of GERD-related symptoms were significantly reduced during the active treatment period.

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