Background/aims: To evaluate the adjuvant effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on first-line sequential therapy (SQT) for Helicobacter pylori infection.
Methods: Patients with H. pylori infections were randomly assigned to receive sequential therapy with (SQT+NAC group, n=49) or without (SQT-only group, n=50) NAC. Sequential therapy consisted of rabeprazole 20 mg and amoxicillin 1 g for the first 5 days, followed by rabeprazole 20 mg, clarithromycin 500 mg and metronidazole 500 mg for the remaining 5 days; all drugs were administered twice daily. For the SQT+NAC group, NAC 400 mg bid was added for the first 5 days of sequential therapy. H. pylori eradication was evaluated 4 weeks after the completion of therapy.
Results: The eradication rates by intention-to-treat analysis were 58.0% in the SQT-only group and 67.3% in the SQT+NAC group (p=0.336). The eradication rates by per-protocol analysis were 70.0% in the SQT-only group and 80.5% in the SQT+NAC group (p=0.274). Compliance was very good in both groups (SQT only/SQT+NAC groups: 95.2%/100%, p=0.494). There was no significant difference in the adverse event rates between groups (SQT-only/SQT+NAC groups: 26.2%/26.8%, p=0.947).
Conclusions: The H. pylorieradication rate was numerically higher in the SQT+NAC group than in the SQT-only group. As our data did not reach statistical significance, larger trials are warranted.
Keywords: Eradication; Helicobacter pylori; N-acetylcysteine; Sequential therapy.