Background: The most commonly used second-line Helicobacter pylori eradication regimens are bismuth-containing quadruple therapy and levofloxacin-containing triple therapy, both offering suboptimal results. Combining bismuth and levofloxacin may enhance the efficacy of rescue eradication regimens.
Aims: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a second-line quadruple regimen containing levofloxacin and bismuth in patients whose previous H. pylori eradication treatment failed.
Methods: This was a prospective multicenter study including patients in whom a standard triple therapy (PPI-clarithromycin-amoxicillin) or a non-bismuth quadruple therapy (PPI-clarithromycin-amoxicillin-metronidazole, either sequential or concomitant) had failed. Esomeprazole (40 mg b.d.), amoxicillin (1 g b.d.), levofloxacin (500 mg o.d.) and bismuth (240 mg b.d.) was prescribed for 14 days. Eradication was confirmed by (13) C-urea breath test. Compliance was determined through questioning and recovery of empty medication envelopes. Incidence of adverse effects was evaluated by questionnaires.
Results: 200 patients were included consecutively (mean age 47 years, 67% women, 13% ulcer). Previous failed therapy included: standard clarithromycin triple therapy (131 patients), sequential (32) and concomitant (37). A total of 96% took all medications correctly. Per-protocol and intention-to-treat eradication rates were 91.1% (95%CI = 87-95%) and 90% (95%CI = 86-94%). Cure rates were similar regardless of previous (failed) treatment or country of origin. Adverse effects were reported in 46% of patients, most commonly nausea (17%) and diarrhoea (16%); 3% were intense but none was serious.
Conclusions: Fourteen-day bismuth- and levofloxacin-containing quadruple therapy is an effective (≥90% cure rate), simple and safe second-line strategy in patients whose previous standard triple or non-bismuth quadruple (sequential or concomitant) therapies have failed.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.