Triple therapy has been recommended as the most effective treatment for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Despite achieving a comparatively high eradication result, however, around 10% of patients still fail to be cured. Omeprazole can enhance efficacy of single and double antibiotic protocols and is particularly effective when combined with clarithromycin and a nitroimidazole. This study examined the effect of combining triple therapy with omeprazole. A prospective, randomised, unblinded, single centre trial was carried out on consecutive patients with symptoms of dyspepsia and H pylori infection confirmed by rapid urease test, microbiological culture, and histological assessment. Patients were given a five times/day, 12 day course of colloidal bismuth subcitrate chewable tablets (108 mg), tetracycline HCl (250 mg), and metronidazole (200 mg) with either 20 mg omeprazole twice daily (triple therapy+omeprazole) or 40 mg famotidine (triple therapy+famotidine) at night. Compliance and side effects were determined using a standard questionnaire form. One hundred and twenty five of 165 triple therapy+omeprazole patients and 124 of 171 triple therapy+famotidine patients returned for rebiopsy four weeks after completion of treatment. Significantly more triple therapy+omeprazole patients achieved eradication 122 of 125 (97.6%) as assessed by negative urease test, culture, and histological assessment, when compared with 110 of 124 (89%) triple therapy+famotidine patients (p = 0.006; chi 2). There were 30 triple therapy+omeprazole (24%) and 26 triple therapy+famotidine (21%) patients with de novo metronidazole resistant H pylori included in the study. Side effects were mild and infrequent and were comparable in both groups, although pain in duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, and oesophagitis patients seemed to subside earlier in those taking omeprazole. Compliance (>95% of drugs taken) was achieved by 98% of patients of both groups. A 12 days regimen of triple therapy with omeprazole is more effective in achieving H pylori eradication than is triple therapy plus famotidine. Use of 20 mg omeprazole twice daily rather than 40 mg famotidine with a 12 day, low dose triple therapy enhances eradication to over 97% whether the H pylori is metronidazole sensitive or resistant.
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