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Original Contribution
January 25, 2012

Lansoprazole for Children With Poorly Controlled Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

Authors/Writing Committee: The following investigators of the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers take authorship responsibility for the study results: Janet T. Holbrook, MPH, PhD, Center for Clinical Trials, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Robert A. Wise, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Benjamin D. Gold, MD, Children's Center for Digestive Healthcare, Atlanta, Georgia; Kathryn Blake, PharmD, Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida; Ellen D. Brown, MS, Center for Clinical Trials, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; Mario Castro, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri; Allen J. Dozor, MD, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College, Valhalla; John J. Lima, PharmD, Nemours Children's Clinic; John G. Mastronarde, MD, Ohio State University Medical Center, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Columbus; Marianna M. Sockrider, MD, DrPH, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston; and W. Gerald Teague, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.

JAMA. 2012;307(4):373-380. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.2035

Context Asymptomatic gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is prevalent in children with asthma. Untreated GER has been postulated to be a cause of inadequate asthma control in children despite inhaled corticosteroid treatment, but it is not known whether treatment with proton pump inhibitors improves asthma control.

Objective To determine whether lansoprazole is effective in reducing asthma symptoms in children without overt GER.

Design, Setting, and Participants The Study of Acid Reflux in Children With Asthma, a randomized, masked, placebo-controlled, parallel clinical trial that compared lansoprazole with placebo in children with poor asthma control who were receiving inhaled corticosteroid treatment. Three hundred six participants enrolled from April 2007 to September 2010 at 19 US academic clinical centers were followed up for 24 weeks. A subgroup had an esophageal pH study before randomization.

Intervention Participating children were randomly assigned to receive either lansoprazole, 15 mg/d if weighing less than 30 kg or 30 mg/d if weighing 30 kg or more (n = 149), or placebo (n = 157).

Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome measure was change in Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) score (range, 0-6; a 0.5-unit change is considered clinically meaningful). Secondary outcome measures included lung function measures, asthma-related quality of life, and episodes of poor asthma control.

Results The mean age was 11 years (SD, 3 years). The mean difference in change (lansoprazole minus placebo) in the ACQ score was 0.2 units (95% CI, 0.0-0.3 units). There were no statistically significant differences in the mean difference in change for the secondary outcomes of forced expiratory volume in the first second (0.0 L; 95% CI, −0.1 to 0.1 L), asthma-related quality of life (−0.1; 95% CI, −0.3 to 0.1), or rate of episodes of poor asthma control (relative risk, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.9-1.5). Among the 115 children with esophageal pH studies, the prevalence of GER was 43%. In the subgroup with a positive pH study, no treatment effect for lansoprazole vs placebo was observed for any asthma outcome. Children treated with lansoprazole reported more respiratory infections (relative risk, 1.3 [95% CI, 1.1-1.6]).

Conclusion In this trial of children with poorly controlled asthma without symptoms of GER who were using inhaled corticosteroids, the addition of lansoprazole, compared with placebo, improved neither symptoms nor lung function but was associated with increased adverse events.

Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00442013