Aim: To test the efficacy of levofloxacin-based second-line therapy for resistant Helicobacter pylori infection.
Methods: One hundred and six patients who failed H. pylori eradication were randomized to receive (i) lansoprazole 30 mg, amoxicillin 1 g, levofloxacin 500 mg, all given twice daily for 7 days (LAL); or (ii) lansoprazole 30 mg twice daily, metronidazole 400 mg thrice daily, bismuth subcitrate 120 mg and tetracycline 500 mg four times daily for 7 days (quadruple). Post-treatment H. pylori status was determined by (13)C-urea breath test.
Results: Intention-to-treat and per-protocol H. pylori eradication rates were 57/60% for the LAL group and 71/76% for the quadruple group respectively. Metronidazole, clarithromycin, amoxicillin and levofloxacin resistance were found in 76%, 71%, 0% and 18% of patients, respectively. Levofloxacin resistance led to treatment failure in the LAL group. For patients with dual resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin, the eradication rates were 79% in the LAL group (levofloxacin-sensitive) and 65% in the quadruple group (P=0.34).
Conclusion: Lansoprazole, amoxicillin plus levofloxacin second-line therapy is comparable with quadruple therapy in efficacy. Subjects, especially those with dual resistance to metronidazole and clarithromycin, may consider levofloxacin-based therapy for levofloxacin-sensitive strains.