Antimicrobial resistance has decreased eradication rates for Helicobacter pylori infection worldwide.
To determine whether sequential treatment eradicates H. pylori infection better than standard triple-drug therapy for adults with dyspepsia or peptic ulcers.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Two Italian hospitals between September 2003 and April 2006.
300 patients with dyspepsia or peptic ulcers.
(13)C-urea breath test, upper endoscopy, histologic evaluation, rapid urease test, bacterial culture, and assessment of antibiotic resistance.
A 10-day sequential regimen (40 mg of pantoprazole, 1 g of amoxicillin, and placebo, each administered twice daily for the first 5 days, followed by 40 mg of pantoprazole, 500 mg of clarithromycin, and 500 mg of tinidazole, each administered twice daily for the remaining 5 days) or standard 10-day therapy (40 mg of pantoprazole, 500 mg of clarithromycin, and 1 g of amoxicillin, each administered twice daily).
The eradication rate achieved with the sequential regimen was significantly greater than that obtained with the standard treatment in the intention-to-treat analysis (89% vs. 77%; P = 0.0134; difference, 12% [95% CI, 3% to 20%]), the modified intention-to-treat analysis (91% vs. 78%; P = 0.0022; difference, 13% [CI, 5% to 21%]), and the per-protocol analysis (93% vs. 79%; P = 0.0013; difference, 14% [CI, 6% to 21%]). Sequential therapy was significantly more effective in patients with clarithromycin-resistant strains (89% vs. 29%; P = 0.0034). The incidence of major and minor side effects did not differ between therapy groups (17% in both groups). One patient (0.7%) in the standard therapy group discontinued treatment because of side effects.
Follow-up was incomplete in 4.6% and 2.7% patients in the sequential therapy and standard therapy groups, respectively.
The results may not be generalizable to other countries.
Sequential therapy may be more effective because it includes 1 additional antibiotic (tinidazole) that is not contained in standard therapy.
Sequential therapy is statistically significant compared with standard therapy for eradicating H. pylori infection and is statistically significantly more effective in patients with clarithromycin-resistant strains.
Side effects are similar with both treatment regimens and are rarely severe enough to cause discontinuation of therapy. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00403364.
Annals of internal medicine
University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. vairadin [at] med.unibo.it
Ann Intern Med. 2007 Apr;146(8):556-63
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