One-week clarithromycin triple therapy regimens for eradication of Helicobacter pylori


J. R. Wood, Department of Gastroenterology, Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development, Stockley Park West, Uxbridge UB11 1BU, UK.



One-week triple therapies have been endorsed as the treatment regimens of choice for eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. Those that include clarithromycin appear to be the most effective.


To review reports of triple therapies that include clarithromycin.


Reports were identified from the literature to May 1998. The variation between study designs prevents a formal meta-analysis. A measure of the relative efficacies of regimens has, however, been gained by comparison and by pooling of intention-to-treat eradication rates.


One hundred and ninety-two studies were identified which included 264 treatment arms of a 1-week triple therapy composed of clarithromycin with amoxycillin or a nitroimidazole (metronidazole or tinidazole), and either ranitidine bismuth citrate or a proton pump inhibitor (omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole). From reports of these studies, an intention-to-treat H. pylori eradication rate could be determined from 210 treatment arms of 151 studies.


There is little to choose between the efficacies of 1-week clarithromycin-based triple therapy eradication regimens. However, those comprising clarithromycin, a nitroimidazole and either ranitidine bismuth citrate or a high dose of omeprazole are, in general, the most effective. Against antibiotic-resistant strains of H. pylori, regimens including ranitidine bismuth citrate may be more effective than those including a proton pump inhibitor.