The effect on the recurrence of gastric ulcers after suppression of Helicobacter pylori by combined treatment with cimetidine and the antimicrobial drug cefixime was investigated. Twenty one of 43 patients with endoscopically proved gastric ulcer and H pylori infection were randomly assigned to receive cimetidine 800 mg daily for 12 weeks; the remaining 22 patients received cimetidine 800 mg daily for 12 weeks plus cefixime 100 mg daily for the last two weeks. After treatment, 88% of 17 patients on cimetidine only remained H pylori positive, whereas combined administration of cimetidine and cefixime had suppressed H pylori in 78% of 18 patients (p less than 0.05). Seventeen patients in the former group whose ulcers healed but who remained H pylori positive and 18 patients in the latter group whose ulcers healed and who were no longer infected with H pylori continued to be followed after treatment. These patients underwent endoscopy to detect ulcer recurrence if symptomatic, or at 12 and 24 weeks if asymptomatic. At 12 weeks, recurrence was observed in seven of 15 (47%) patients in whom H pylori persisted, but in only one of 14 (7%) patients in whom H pylori had been suppressed (p less than 0.05). At 24 weeks, however, recurrence rates were similar between the two groups. These findings indicate that H pylori infection may be closely related to early ulcer recurrence.
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