Background: One-week triple therapy is currently considered the golden standard against Helicobacter pylori. However, gastrointestinal side-effects are among the major pitfalls in such regimens. Probiotic supplementation might help to prevent or reduce such drug-related manifestations.
Aim: To determine whether adding the probiotic Lactobacillus GG to an anti-H. pylori regimen could help to prevent or minimize the gastrointestinal side-effects burden.
Methods: Sixty healthy asymptomatic subjects screened positive for H. pylori infection were randomized to 1 week rabeprazole (20 mg b.d.), clarithromycin (500 mg b.d.), tinidazole (500 b.d.) and the probiotic Lactobacillus GG for 14 days or to the same regimen with a placebo preparation. Patients completed validated questionnaires during the week of treatment and during the following 3 weeks, to determine the type and severity of side-effects and an overall judgement of tolerability.
Results: Diarrhoea, nausea and taste disturbance were significantly reduced in the Lactobacillus GG supplemented group (relative risk=0.1, 95% CI: 0.1-0.9; relative risk=0.3, 95% CI: 0.1-0.9; relative risk=0.5, 95% CI: 0.2-0.9, respectively). An overall assessment of treatment tolerability showed a significant difference in favour of the Lactobacillus GG supplemented group (P=0.04).
Conclusions: Lactobacillus GG supplementation showed a positive impact on H. pylori therapy-related side-effects and on overall treatment tolerability.