Persistent throat symptoms comprise hoarseness, the sensation of a lump, repeated coughing, and throat discomfort. Previous studies have shown that using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can help treat persistent throat symptoms. The aim of this study is to assess the use of PPIs to treat persistent throat symptoms.
This pragmatic, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial included a total of 346 patients aged 18 years or older with persistent throat symptoms. The participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive lansoprazole (a PPI; n=172) or placebo (n=174). The primary outcome of the study was the symptomatic response at 16 weeks measured using the total reflux symptom index (RSI) score.
The primary analysis was conducted on 220 participants. The findings suggested that the mean RSI scores were similar between the treatment arms: 22.0 for lansoprazole and 21.7 for placebo. There was no statistically significant difference between the treatment arms. It was found that lansoprazole showed no benefits over placebo or any other secondary measure. RSI scores at 12 months were also similar, with an estimated difference of 2.4 points.
The research concluded that there was no evidence suggesting that proton pump inhibitors can treat persistent throat symptoms when compared with placebo.