Background: <i>Helicobacter pylori</i> infection causes lifelong gastritis and is associated with the development of peptic ulcer disease, MALT lymphoma and gastric cancer. Many patients benefit from <i>H. pylori</i> eradication therapy. PPI-triple therapy is recommended as initial therapy. Quadruple therapy, with a PPI, bismuth, and two antibiotics, used to be recommended as second-line therapy, but can no longer be prescribed because bismuth is no longer available. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new effective rescue therapies. Levofloxacin-based therapies were suggested as an alternative to quadruple therapy.
The aim of this study is to examine the efficacy
and tolerability of such a one-week therapy with levofloxacin and esomeprazole combined with either amoxicillin or clarithromycin in a Dutch population.
Methods: Between February 2005 and November 2006, 123 consecutive <i>H. pylori</i> positive patients were enrolled in this study. The first 59 patients were treated with esomeprazole, amoxicillin and levofloxacin (group I). The next 64 patients were treated with esomeprazole, clarithromycin, and levofloxacin (group II ). Both therapies were compared for efficacy and tolerability.
Results: In group I the overall (ITT) cure rate was 96% and in group II it was 93%. Minor side effects occurred in 29% of patients in group I and in 41% of patients in group II. Major side effects that warranted discontinuation of therapy occurred in two patients in group II.
Conclusion: Seven-day triple therapy with esomeprazole,
levofloxacin and either amoxicillin or clarithromycin
for seven days is very effective and safe for <i>H. pylori</i> eradication. The combination with amoxicillin seems to be better tolerated than the combination with clarithromycin.