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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2013 Feb;14(2):211-23. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2013.763926.

Current options for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori.

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  • 1Athens Medical, P. Faliron General Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, 17562 Athens, Greece.



Treatment of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is crucial for prevalent disease's management, including gastritis, peptic ulcer and gastric cancer, whereas novel extradigestive causal associations are increasingly being recognized. Despite long-standing efforts, there is not as yet an optimal empirical therapy to eradicate H. pylori.


In the present article the authors review current options for H. pylori eradication. Advantages and disadvantages of each of the recommended regimens, and the perspectives for their rational use in clinical practice, are critically discussed.


The continuous rising of antimicrobial resistance has accounted for the declined efficiency of standard triple therapies, yielding < 70% eradication in most countries. Alternative first-line strategies have been proposed and largely validated and are now replacing standard-of-care therapies in areas with a high incidence of clarithromycin-resistance (> 20%). Such treatments include the bismuth-containing quadruple therapy, concomitant, sequential and levofloxacin-based regimens, the later mainly designated, together with rifabutin-based therapies as second-line/rescue options. Clinicians should be aware of the local resistance pattern and maintain first-line eradication to levels > 90% (per-protocol efficacy). This will prevent both exposing the patient to repeated treatments and spreading of secondary antimicrobial resistance. In the future, perspectives of tailored therapy and a prophylactic vaccine will obviate any treatment concern.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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