Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy

A review of rescue regimens after clarithromycin-containing triple therapy failure (for Helicobacter pylori eradication).

PMID 23537368


Helicobacter pylori infection is generally treated with therapies that include a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and, at least, two antibiotics being clarithromycin one of the most used. Antibiotic resistance, mainly to clarithromycin, seems to be increasing in many geographical areas, and this factor is considered a main cause leading to a treatment failure when the later therapies contain this antibiotic again. As clarithromycin is a key antibiotic in the eradication of H. pylori, the election of the rescue treatment is a matter of debate. The aim of this study is to systematically review the efficacy of the second-line rescue therapies after the failure of a first-line clarithromycin-containing regimen, and to link this information with the previous first-line treatment. Also, authors performed meta-analyses and inverse variance analyses with studies that met the inclusion criteria: first-line treatment must specify type and dosage; diagnosis and eradication confirmation must be performed by generally accepted tests; and second-line treatment must not be assigned depending on the antibiotic susceptibility or resistance. In a routine clinical practice setting, the most adequate second-line treatment consists in a 10-day regimen of levofloxacin- amoxicillin-PPI given twice daily, unless regional or new data show high quinolone resistance. Other good options are the bismuth quadruple regimen and a metronidazole-amoxicillin-PPI therapy.