What is the best way to manage GERD symptoms in the elderly?
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No evidence supports one method over another in managing uncomplicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for patients aged >65 years. For those with endoscopically documented esophagitis, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) relieve symptoms faster than histamine H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, extrapolation from randomized controlled trials [RCTs]). Treating elderly patients with pantoprazole (Protonix) after resolution of acute esophagitis results in fewer relapses than with placebo (SOR: B, double-blind RCT). Limited evidence suggests that such maintenance therapy for prior esophagitis with either H2RAs or PPIs, at half- and full-dose strength, decreases the frequency of relapse (SOR: B, extrapolation from uncontrolled clinical trial).
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