Clinical question: Is intermittent proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy comparable to the current standard of continuous PPI infusion for high risk bleeding ulcers?
Background: Current guidelines recommend an intravenous bolus dose of a PPI followed by continuous PPI infusion for three days after endoscopic therapy in patients with high risk bleeding ulcers. Substitution of intermittent PPI therapy, if comparable, could decrease PPI dose, cost, and resource use.
Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.
Setting: Review of medical databases through December 2013.
Synopsis: A total of 13 studies were identified that met eligibility criteria, with the primary outcome the incidence of recurrent bleeding within seven days of starting a PPI regimen.
The upper boundary of the 95% CI for the absolute risk difference between intermittent and continuous infusion PPI therapy was -0.28% for the primary outcome, indicating that there was no increase in recurrent bleeding with intermittent versus continuous PPI therapy.
Although overall analysis shows that the intermittent use of PPIs is noninferior to bolus plus continuous infusion of PPIs, this study does not delineate which intermittent PPI regimen is the most appropriate.
A variety of dosing schedules and total doses were used, different PPIs were utilized, and both oral and intravenous routes of administration were used. In addition, different endoscopic therapies may have achieved variable results for the primary outcome of rebleeding and could therefore confound the results.
Bottom line: Intermittent PPI therapy is comparable to the current guideline-recommended regimen of intravenous bolus plus continuous infusion of PPIs in patients with endoscopically treated, high risk bleeding ulcers.