Published online Aug 14, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i30.4958
Revised: June 15, 2013
Accepted: June 28, 2013
Published online: August 14, 2013
AIM: To investigate the efficacy of amitriptyline with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for the treatment of functional chest pain (FCP).
METHODS: This was a randomized, open-label trial investigating the addition of low dose amitriptyline (10 mg at bedtime) to a conventional dose of rabeprazole (20 mg/d) (group A, n = 20) vs a double-dose of rabeprazole (20 mg twice daily) (group B, n = 20) for patients with FCP whose symptoms were refractory to PPI. The primary efficacy endpoints were assessed by global symptom score assessment and the total number of individuals with > 50% improvement in their symptom score.
RESULTS: The between-group difference in global symptom scores was statistically significant during the last week of treatment (overall mean difference; 3.75 ± 0.31 vs 4.35 ± 0.29, the between-group difference; P < 0.001). Furthermore, 70.6% of patients in group A had their symptoms improve by > 50%, whereas only 26.3% of patients in group B had a similar treatment response (70.6% vs 26.3%, P = 0.008). Specifically, patients in group A had a significantly greater improvement in the domains of body pain and general health perception than did patients in group B (52.37 ± 17.00 vs 41.32 ± 12.34, P = 0.031 and 47.95 ± 18.58 vs 31.84 ± 16.84, P = 0.01, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Adding amitriptyline to a PPI was more effective than a double-dose of PPI in patients with FCP refractory to a conventional dose of PPI.
Core tip: Hypersensitivity and psychological problems have an important role in the pathogenesis of functional chest pain (FCP). In this regard, the principal treatment of FCP has moved towards hypersensitivity modulation and antidepressant agents on the basis that the underlying mechanisms were increased pain perception or visceral hyperalgesia in addition to psychologic causes. This is the first study to report that adding low-dose amitriptyline to a conventional dose of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is more effective than a double-dose of PPI in patients with FCP resistant to a conventional dose of PPI treatment.