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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 May 1;19(9):993-8.

Effectiveness and pharmaceutical cost of sequential treatment for Helicobacter pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia.

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Gastroenterology Unit, Ospedali Riuniti, Foggia, Italy.



A novel 10-day sequential treatment regimen recently achieved a significantly higher eradication rate than standard 7-day therapy in both peptic ulcer disease and non-ulcer dyspepsia. Its higher performance has recently been confirmed using a halved clarithromycin dose in peptic ulcer disease.


To evaluate whether an acceptable eradication rate could also be obtained by halving the clarithromycin dose in dyspeptic patients and to assess the role of possible factors affecting the outcome of therapy.


In a prospective, open-label study, 162 patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia and Helicobacter pylori infection, assessed by rapid urease test and histology, were enrolled. Patients were randomized to receive either 10-day sequential therapy, 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 250 mg b.d. and tinidazole 500 mg b.d. for the remaining 5 days (low-dose therapy), or a similar schedule with clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. (high-dose therapy). Four to six weeks after therapy, H. pylori eradication was assessed by endoscopy/histology.


A similar H. pylori eradication rate was observed following low- and high-dose regimens for both per protocol (94% vs. 95%; P = N.S.) and intention-to-treat (93% vs. 94%; P = N.S.) analyses. No major side-effects were reported. Halving the clarithromycin dose leads to a per patient saving in pharmaceutical costs of 24.6 euros. None of the variables examined affected the effectiveness of eradication of the sequential regimen.


A reduction of the clarithromycin dose does not affect H. pylori eradication with the sequential regimen in non-ulcer dyspepsia and affords lower costs.

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