Introduction: Approximately 20% of the Western population is affected by gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). To date, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) represent the mainstay of GERD medical treatment. However, despite their undoubted benefit, about 40% of GERD patients display an inadequate response to these drugs. Recently, a new PPI, ilaprazole, at oral doses of 10 mg has shown higher suppression of gastric acid secretion, more prolonged plasma half-life, and similar safety compared to 20 mg omeprazole. Areas covered: This review provides an update on the following points: pharmacokinetic profile and metabolism of ilaprazole in relation to its pharmacodynamic properties; comparative data on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ilaprazole with currently available PPIs; and implications for studies on the therapeutic efficacy of ilaprazole in GERD. Expert opinion: Different studies show that ilaprazole, a benzimidazole derivative, has an extended plasma half-life in comparison with all other approved PPIs. In addition, ilaprazole metabolism is not significantly influenced by CYP2C19, compared to the available PPIs. Furthermore, the pharmacological characteristics of ilaprazole confer theoretical advantages that are expected to translate into an improved acid control, particularly at night time. However, studies comparing the clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ilaprazole with those of second-generation PPIs are insufficient. Moreover, further investigations assessing the efficacy of ilaprazole in the management of GERD are required. In healthy volunteers, as well as in patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers, ilaprazole has not shown clinically relevant changes in hematology and biochemistry testing, nor significant treatment-related adverse symptoms.
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease
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