NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Previous studies have shown that omeprazole sodium is more effective than ranitidine hydrochloride in controlling symptoms of heartburn in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, it is not clear whether these findings can be extrapolated to primary care practice. To compare the two medications, Kaplan-Machlis and colleagues performed a multicenter, randomized, open-label, medical effectiveness trial in 268 patients with GERD randomly assigned to receive omeprazole sodium or ranitidine hydrochloride for up to 6 months. The researchers assessed the status of the patients with the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) Reflux score, Psychological General Well-Being Index, and Short-Form-36 Health Survey at baseline and 2, 4, 12 and 24 weeks. Medical resource use and cost data were also collected. They found that more omeprazole-treated patients reported improved heartburn resolution at two weeks and four weeks compared with ranitidine-treated patients. Omeprazole provided greater resolution...

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