The effect of oral administration of Lactobacillus GG on antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal side-effects during Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy


Dr A.Gasbarrini, Department of Medical Pathology, Catholic University, Policlinico Gemelli, Largo Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy. E-mail:



One-week triple therapy is currently considered the golden standard against Helicobacter pylori. However, gastrointestinal side-effects are among the major pitfalls in such regimens. Probiotic supplementation might help to prevent or reduce such drug-related manifestations.


To determine whether adding the probiotic Lactobacillus GG to an anti-H. pylori regimen could help to prevent or minimize the gastrointestinal side-effects burden.


Sixty healthy asymptomatic subjects screened positive for H. pylori infection were randomized to 1 week rabeprazole (20 mg b.d.), clarithromycin (500 mg b.d.), tinidazole (500 b.d.) and the probiotic Lactobacillus GG for 14 days or to the same regimen with a placebo preparation. Patients completed validated questionnaires during the week of treatment and during the following 3 weeks, to determine the type and severity of side-effects and an overall judgement of tolerability.


Diarrhoea, nausea and taste disturbance were significantly reduced in the Lactobacillus GG supplemented group (relative risk=0.1, 95% CI: 0.1–0.9; relative risk=0.3, 95% CI: 0.1–0.9; relative risk=0.5, 95% CI: 0.2–0.9, respectively). An overall assessment of treatment tolerability showed a significant difference in favour of the Lactobacillus GG supplemented group (P=0.04).


Lactobacillus GG supplementation showed a positive impact on H. pylori therapy-related side-effects and on overall treatment tolerability.