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.
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