Night-time gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: prevalence, hazards, and management.Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005; 17(1):113-20EJ
Patients who complain of symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) that occur at night require special attention. Night-time GORD can profoundly impair quality of life by causing pain, disturbing sleep, and interfering with next-day mental and physical functioning. Sleep impairs oesophageal acid clearance resulting in a prolongation of acid mucosal contact, and nocturnal reflux portends a greater risk of erosive oesophagitis and other significant complications of gastro-oesophageal reflux. Lifestyle changes such as elevating the head of the bed and adjusting the sleeping position can relieve night-time heartburn, and instituting some dietary changes along with occasional use of histamine H2 blockers can also be helpful. Relief of night-time reflux and its attendant symptoms usually requires a medication with acid-suppressing properties that extend into the sleeping interval. In most instances, more powerful acid suppression in the form of proton-pump inhibitors will be required. Clinical studies have shown that 40 mg esomeprazole provides better control of night-time GORD symptoms than 20 mg omeprazole or 30 mg lansoprazole. Furthermore, 40 mg pantoprazole offers even faster relief than 40 mg esomeprazole for night-time GORD symptoms. Of the several proton-pump inhibitors available on the market, esomeprazole and pantoprazole appear to have some advantages, which have been documented in recent studies. Esomeprazole has been shown to be more effective than lansoprazole in relieving GORD symptoms, and esomeprazole and pantoprazole appear to be equally effective in resolving GORD symptoms in a comparative study. Pantoprazole has pharmacokinetic properties that document a longer half-life compared with the other proton-pump inhibitors, and pantoprazole has the slowest inhibition recovery rate. These properties lend credence to pantoprazole as an effective treatment for associated symptoms of night-time reflux.