The current standard of care in proton pump inhibitor failure is to double the proton pump inhibitor dose, despite limited therapeutic gain.
Professor Fass and colleagues from Arizona, USA determined the efficacy of adding acupuncture vs doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
|The group with acupuncture and PPI use had decreased night-time heartburn|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team enrolled 30 patients with classic heartburn symptoms who continued to be symptomatic on standard-dose proton pump inhibitors into the study.
All participants underwent upper endoscopy while on proton pump inhibitors once daily.
Subsequently, patients were randomized to either adding acupuncture to their proton pump inhibitor or doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose over a period of 4 weeks.
Acupuncture was delivered twice a week by an expert.
The researchers found that the 2 groups did not differ in demographic parameters.
The researchers observed that the acupuncture with proton pump inhibitor group demonstrated a significant decrease in the mean daytime heartburn.
The acupuncture with proton pump inhibitor group also had decreased night-time heartburn, and acid regurgitation scores at the end of treatment when compared with baseline.
The team observed that the double-dose proton pump inhibitor group did not demonstrate a significant change in their clinical endpoints.
The research team found that the mean general health score was only significantly improved in the acupuncture with proton pump inhibitor group.
Professor Fass' team concluded, "Adding acupuncture is more effective than doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in controlling GERD-related symptoms in patients who failed standard-dose proton pump inhibitors."