Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of pantoprazole in infants with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Materials and Methods: Infants ages 1 through 11 months with GERD symptoms after 2 weeks of conservative treatment received open-label (OL) pantoprazole 1.2 mg · kg−1 · day−1 for 4 weeks followed by a 4-week randomized, double-blind (DB), placebo-controlled, withdrawal phase. The primary endpoint was withdrawal due to lack of efficacy in the DB phase. Mean weekly GERD symptom scores (WGSSs) were calculated from daily assessments of 5 GERD symptoms. Safety was assessed.
Results: One hundred twenty-eight patients entered OL treatment, and 106 made up the DB modified intent-to-treat population. Mean age was 5.1 months (82% full-term, 64% male). One third of patients had a GERD diagnostic test before OL study entry. WGSSs at week 4 were similar between groups. WGSSs decreased significantly from baseline during OL therapy (P < 0.001), when all patients received pantoprazole. The decrease in WGSSs was maintained during the DB phase in both treatment groups. There was no difference in withdrawal rates due to lack of efficacy (pantoprazole 6/52; placebo 6/54) or time to withdrawal during the DB phase. The greatest between-group difference in WGSS was slightly worse with placebo at week 5 (P = 0.09), mainly due to episodes of arching back (P = 0.028). No between-group differences in adverse event frequency were noted. Serious adverse events in 8 patients were considered unrelated to treatment.
Conclusions: Pantoprazole significantly improved GERD symptom scores and was well tolerated. However, during the DB treatment phase, there were no significant differences noted between pantoprazole and placebo in withdrawal rates due to lack of efficacy.