Helicobacter pylori infection--current treatment practice

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2001 Feb;2(2):253-66. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2.2.253.


Helicobacter pylori infection, which is present in 30 - 60% of the population in developed countries and in more than 60% in developing countries, is established to be a major cause of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Eradication therapy has been incorporated into clinical practice over the past 15 years. Treatment regimens include a 2 week bismuth-based triple therapy (a bismuth compound plus metronidazole, tetracycline or amoxycillin), a 1 week proton-pump inhibitor (PPI)-based triple therapy and a 1 week ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC)-based triple therapy (a PPI or RBC plus any two of the three antibiotics, metronidazole, amoxycillin and clarithromycin). These regimens achieve eradication rates of >> 80%. H. pylori resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin decreases the clinical efficacy of most regimens, despite the high eradication rates for resistant strains achieved by the RBC-triple therapy in some recent trials. The dose of antibiotics (especially clarithromycin) and the duration of treatment may also influence the eradication rate. Doctors' beliefs impact on clinical practice and, thus, influence the clinical application of eradication therapy. Whereas peptic ulcer disease and primary gastric low-grade B-cell mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALToma) have become established as definite indications for eradication therapy, there remain controversies surrounding non-ulcer dyspepsia, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and H. pylori-related extradigestive diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Peptic Ulcer / etiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents