Hong Kong Med J 1999;5:145-9 | Number 2, June 1999
Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection
J Wu, J Sung
Division of Gastroentrtology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Princes of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
The availability of clinic-based diagnostic tests means that screening for and the eradication of Helicobacter pylori can be done by primary care physicians. However, confusion still exists regarding indication and treatment regimens. It is universally accepted that patients with Helicobacter pylori infection and peptic ulcer disease require eradication therapy. But the benefits of Helicobacter pylori eradication in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-related peptic ulceration, and non-ulcer dyspepsia remain unclear. There is no evidence that the elimination of Helicobacter pylori is beneficial for asymptomatic patients or in preventing gastric cancer. One-week triple therapy with a proton pump inhibitor or ranitidine bismuth citrate in combination with clarithromycin/metronidazole and amoxycillin is the recommended first-line treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection. Problems with patient compliance and the development of antibiotic resistance are the two most important factors to consider when choosing the treatment regimen. The optimal retreatment therapy for treatment failure is still unknown, and quadruple therapy is best reserved for these cases.
Key words: Antibiotics, combined/therapeutic use; Anti-ulcer agents; Helicobacter infections/therapy; Helicobacter pylori
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