Azithromycin for the Cure of Helicobacter pylori Infection

Di Mario, F.; Dal Bó, N.; Grassi, S. A.; Rugge, M.; Cassaro, M.; Donisi, P. M.; Vianello, F.; Kusstatscher, S.; Salandin, S.; Grasso, G. A.; Ferrana, M.; Battaglia, G.
February 1996
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Feb1996, Vol. 91 Issue 2, p264
Academic Journal
Objectives: Azithromycin, a new antibiotic chemically related to erythromycin, has been proposed for the cure of Helicobacter pylori, achieving high gastric tissue levels (above the MIC for H. pylori) after oral administration. The aim of the study was to establish whether azithromycin plus metronidazole in association with either omeprazole or bismuth subcitrate is useful in curing H. pylori infection of the stomach. Patients and Methods: The study involved 132 dispeptic patients who proved to be H. pylori infected by antral and corpus histology (Giemsa, modified) and rapid urease test (CLO test); the Sydney system was used to classify the gastritis. Sixty-three patients received bismuth subcitrate 120 mg q.i.d. for 14 days plus azithromycin 500 mg o.d. for the first 3 days plus metronidazole 250 mg q.i.d. for the first 7 days; 69 patients received omeprazole 40 mg for 14 days plus azithromycin 500 mg o.d. for the first 3 days plus metronidazole 250 mg q.i.d. for the first 7 days. Patients were well matched for common clinical variables. Cure of H. pylori infection was assessed by the same methods 2 months after completion of treatment. Results: Eleven patients dropped out of the study, only one reporting side effects (nausea, vomiting, and epigastric pain). Cumulative "per protocol" cure rate was 66.1% (CI 95%, 58.5-75.3%). There was no statistically significant difference between the two treatment groups: 58.9% (CI 95% 48.4-74.6%) versus 72.3% (CI 95%, 60.7-82.5%). Intention to treat does not substantially modify results. Few side effects were recorded. Cured patients showed a significant reduction in the activity of gastritis. Conclusion: azithromycin, combined with omeprazole and metronidazole, the cure rate of H. pylori was about 70%. The cure of H. pylori infection improves the activity of gastritis.


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