Background: Patients with high Rockall scores have increased risk of ulcer rebleeding after 3-day esomeprazole infusions. Objective: To investigate whether double oral esomeprazole given after a 3-day esomeprazole infusion decreases ulcer rebleeding for patients with high Rockall scores. Design: We prospectively enrolled 293 patients with peptic ulcer bleeding who had achieved endoscopic haemostasis. After a 3-day esomeprazole infusion, patients with Rockall scores ≥6 were randomised into the oral double-dose group (n=93) or the oral standard-dose group (n=94) to receive 11 days of oral esomeprazole 40 mg twice daily or once daily, respectively. The patients with Rockall scores <6 served as controls (n=89); they received 11 days of oral esomeprazole 40 mg once daily. Thereafter, all patients received oral esomeprazole 40 mg once daily for two more weeks until the end of the 28-day study period. The primary end point was peptic ulcer rebleeding. Results: Among patients with Rockall scores ≥6, the oral double-dose group had a higher cumulative rebleeding-free proportion than the oral standard-dose group (p=0.02, log-rank test). The proportion of patients free from recurrent bleeding during the 4th-28th day in the oral double-dose group remained lower than that of the group with Rockall scores <6 (p=0.03, log-rank test). Among patients with Rockall scores ≥6, the rebleeding rate was lower in the oral double-dose group than in the oral standard-dose group (4th-28th day: 10.8% vs 28.7%, p=0.002). Conclusions: Double oral esomeprazole at 40 mg twice daily after esomeprazole infusion reduced recurrent peptic ulcer bleeding in high-risk patients with Rockall scores ≥6. Trial registration number: NCT01591083.
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