OBJECTIVE: There are limited data available from the United States on the effectiveness of ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC) plus two antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori. Therefore, the following study was undertaken to evaluate RBC with two antibiotics, which have been used successfully in combination, to treat H. pylori. METHODS: Adults with and without abdominal symptoms, who had never received H. pylori eradication therapy, were tested for the presence of H. pylori infection either by in-office rapid serology assays or histology. Positive subjects were administered the 13C-urea breath test. Subjects who had a positive urea breath test were then treated with RBC 400 mg b.i.d., clarithromycin 500 mg b.i.d., and metronidazole 500 mg b.i.d. for 10 days. Four to 6 wk after completing antibiotics all subjects were asked to return for a second urea breath test to assess treatment success. RESULTS: Forty-seven of the 50 subjects enrolled into this study completed the antibiotic regimen and returned for a repeat urea breath test. Thirty-seven subjects were negative for H. pylori by urea breath test and 10 were positive, resulting in a 79% eradication rate. Seven subjects (14%) stopped their medication because of side effects. When analysis was performed on the 40 subjects who took ≥ 80% of their medication (per-protocol), the eradication rate was 90%. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of RBC with clarithromycin and metronidazole successfully treated H. pylori infection after only 10 days of therapy. The per-protocol eradication rate from this study was similar to that seen with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)- approved regimens. In conclusion, RBC plus clarithromycin and metronidazole should be considered as a first-line treatment regimen for H. pylori infection, and may only need to be taken for a period of 10 days, as opposed to 14 days for FDA-approved regimens.
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