Treatment options for Helicobacter pylori infection when proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy fails in clinical practice

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Apr;13(4):489-96. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1999.00504.x.


Background: The effectiveness of Helicobacter pylori eradication regimens has not been extensively investigated in the clinical practice setting. The optimal treatment choice after an initial failed eradication attempt has not been determined.

Aims: To evaluate proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapies as first-line eradication regimens in clinical practice, and to establish the efficacy of second-line regimens in the context of an initial failed eradication attempt.

Methods: Three hundred and eight patients with dyspepsia and evidence of H. pylori at endoscopy were recruited. As first-line therapy, 116 patients received omeprazole 20 mg b.d. in combination with amoxycillin 1 g b.d. and clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. (OAC) while 192 patients received omeprazole 20 mg b.d. in combination with metronidazole 400 mg b.d. and clarithromycin 250 mg b.d. (OMC). H. pylori status was reassessed at least 4 weeks after therapy (25 patients failed to attend for further testing). Of 52 patients with an initial failed eradication attempt, 20 patients received a 1 week quadruple therapy regimen incorporating omeprazole 20 mg b.d., tripotassium dicitrato bismuthate 120 mg q.d.s., tetracycline 500 mg q.d.s. and metronidazole 400 mg t.d.s., 20 patients received a 2-week proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy regimen as described, and 12 patients received a further 1-week proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy regimen.

Results: Including 308 patients, the intention-to-treat (ITT) eradication rates for OAC and OMC as first-line regimens were 72% (95% CI: 63-80%) and 73% (95% CI: 67-79%) respectively. A per protocol (PP) analysis on the 283 patients who completed follow-up gives an initial eradication rate of 78% (95% CI: 69-86%) for OAC and 79% (95% CI: 73-85%) for OMC. There were 60 patients (21%; 95% CI: 17-26%) in whom the initial eradication attempt was unsuccessful. With second-line therapy, H. pylori was successfully eradicated in a further 35/52 (67%; 95% CI: 58-73%) patients. The eradication rates with the quadruple regimen and 2-week triple therapy regimens were 75% (95% CI: 56-94%) and 80% (95% CI: 63-98%) respectively (P = 0. 71). The eradication rate with a repeat 1-week regimen was 33% (95% CI: 7-60%).

Conclusions: The eradication rates achieved in this 'in practice' study with recommended first-line 1-week proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy regimens were lower than the rates achieved with similar regimens in the clinical trial setting. A repeat 1-week proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy regimen was not successful as a salvage therapy. Both the 2-week proton pump inhibitor-based triple therapy regimen and the 1-week quadruple therapy regimen were successful second-line treatments in >/=75% of patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clarithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use
  • Penicillins / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Penicillins
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Metronidazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Omeprazole