Effects of N-acetylcysteine on First-Line Sequential Therapy for Helicobacter pylori Infection: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

Gut Liver. 2016 Jul 15;10(4):520-5. doi: 10.5009/gnl15048.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / administration & dosage*
  • Aged
  • Amoxicillin / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Clarithromycin / administration & dosage
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rabeprazole / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Metronidazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Acetylcysteine