Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of a standard-dose versus half-dose 10-day triple regimen for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection.
Methods: A total of 115 consecutive patients with documented infection were enrolled in this open-label trial. Group A (standard dose) received rabeprazole (20 mg), amoxicillin (1 g), and clarithromycin (500 mg), all twice daily for 10 days. Group B (half dose) received rabeprazole (10 mg), amoxicillin (500 mg), and clarithromycin (250 mg), all twice daily for 10 days. (14)C urea breath tests were performed a minimum of 4 weeks after treatment and a minimum of 2 weeks off any acid-suppressive therapy. Compliance and adverse effects were evaluated throughout the treatment period.
Results: A total of 115 patients were enrolled (59 women and 56 men; mean age 47.1±14.0 years). Eradication occurred in 45 of 58 patients [77.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 66.9-88.3%] in the standard-dose group versus 44 of 57 in the half-dose group (77.2%; 95% CI: 66.3-88.1%) on an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis (P=1.00). Per protocol eradication rates were 45 of 57 (78.9%; 95% CI: 68.4-85.9%) and 44 of 54 (81.5%; 95% CI: 71.1-91.8%), respectively (P=0.81). The number of patients reporting any adverse effect was significantly higher in the standard-dose group (64.9 vs. 40.4%; P=0.014). The cost of treatment was significantly less in patients receiving the half-dose regimen (ITT analysis; P<0.05). The number needed to harm to suffer one additional failure in the half-dose over the standard-dose arm was 250 (ITT analysis).
Conclusion: A half-dose 10-day regimen of rabeprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin is equally effective but cheaper and better tolerated than its standard-dose regimen in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori. Eradication rates of both regimens are, however, suboptimal compared with accepted standards.