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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Sep 15;18(6):641-6.

Sequential treatment for Helicobacter pylori eradication in duodenal ulcer patients: improving the cost of pharmacotherapy.

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Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy, 'Nuovo Regina Margherita' Hospital, Rome, Italy.



Several studies have shown that Helicobacter pylori eradication rates with standard 7-day triple therapy are unsatisfactory. A novel 10-day sequential treatment regimen recently achieved a significantly higher eradication rate. To improve the pharmacotherapeutic cost, we evaluated whether an acceptable eradication rate could be achieved in peptic ulcer patients by halving the dose of clarithromycin.


In a prospective, open-label study, 152 duodenal ulcer patients with H. pylori infection, assessed by rapid urease test and histology, were enrolled. Patients were randomized to receive either a 10-day sequential treatment comprising rabeprazole 20 mg b.d. plus amoxicillin 1 g b.d. for the first 5 days, followed by rabeprazole 20 mg b.d., clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. and tinidazole 500 mg b.d. for the remaining 5 days (high-dose therapy), or a similar schedule with the clarithromycin doses halved to 250 mg b.d. (low-dose therapy). No further antisecretory drugs were offered. Four to six weeks after therapy, H. pylori eradication and ulcer healing rates were assessed by endoscopy.


Similar H. pylori eradication rates were observed following high- and low-dose regimens for both per protocol (97.3% vs. 95.9%; P = N.S.) and intention-to-treat (94.7% vs. 92.2%; P = N.S.) analyses. No major side-effects were reported. At repeat endoscopy, peptic ulcer healing was observed in 93% and 93% of patients following high- and low-dose therapy, respectively.


The cheaper low-dose sequential regimen may be suggested for H. pylori eradication in duodenal ulcer patients, even without continued proton pump inhibitor therapy after eradication treatment.

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