Aim: Using mucolytic agents that decrease viscosity of the gastric mucous and therefore, increase the permeability of antibiotics through gastric membrane has been offered as an additive treatment to achieve a higher rate of eradication of Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) infection. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of oral N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) on eradication of H. pylori infections in patients suffering from dyspepsia.
Methods: In this randomized double-blinded clinical trial, 60 H. pylori positive patients who were suffering from dyspepsia were included. They were divided into two groups. Both groups received three-drug regimen including pantoprazole 40 mg BD, ciprofloxacin 500 mg BD and bismuth subcitrate 120 mg two tablets BD. Experimental group (30 cases) received 600 mg of NAC besides three-drug regimen. Control group received placebo. The results of therapy were tested by 14C-UBT and were compared with each other two months after the first visit.
Results: H. pylori infection was eradicated in 21 (70%) and 17 (60.7%) patients in experimental and control groups, respectively (P=0.526). Regarding clinical and endoscopic variables, no significant difference was observed between the two groups except for erosive gastritis (0.041) and erosive esophagitis (0.031).
Conclusion: Our findings offer that NAC has an additive effect on H. pylori triple therapy with pantoprazole, ciprofloxacin and bismuth subcitrate. Although NAC does not have any known activity against H. pylori, it can reduce the thickness of the mucus layer and increase the permeability of antibiotics at the site of infection. To evaluate this effect, more studies with larger sample size should be performed.