(Triple Therapy, Quadruple Therapy, Sequential Therapy)
“Medical treatment for H pylori has become much less effective over the last 10 years. Please read this article to find out what you can do about it”
I hear from patients, clients and customers on a daily basis who had GREAT results using Triple Therapy.
I also hear some real horror stories where people have been through several courses of Triple Therapy only to find that their symptoms are worse and that H pylori bacteria are still present!
Many people complain of side effects when they use antibiotics.
I was personally able to eradicate my own H pylori infection using a completely natural protocol. I did not require antibiotics at all. However, many people have good success using antibiotics and so let’s discuss them in a little detail so that you are in a position to make an informed decision on how you’d like to treat your H pylori infection.
The main problem with H pylori treatment is that many doctors (not all) are not aware of the current research that is being done in this area. Triple Therapy is still being prescribed as the first line treatment option, but in many areas it is becoming less and less effective because the H pylori bacteria are now resistant to the drugs that are being used.
Nor are doctors aware that natural botanical (herbal) programmes can be just as effective, if not more so, than conventional H pylori treatments.
I am always disappointed to hear that doctors have actively warned people away from some of these excellent options. I believe in providing you with all the options so that you can decide for yourself.
Conventional H Pylori Treatment
Conventional “front line” H pylori treatment prescribed by doctors is called Triple Therapy.
It involves taking two different antibiotics for 7-14 days, along with an proton pump inhibitor (PPI) or H 2 blocker medication, which acts as an antacid (brand names such as Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix, generic names like Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and Lanzoprazole)
Many different combinations of antibiotics can be used: Tetracycline, Clarithromycin, Amoxicillin, Levofloxacin, Metronidazole and others.
The reason for the taking the antacid medication is to increase the effectiveness of the antibiotics against H pylori.
Do Conventional H Pylori Treatments Work?
Some people achieve excellent success: their symptoms disappear very quickly and on re-test their H pylori infection has been eradicated.
But medical research clearly shows that there is a huge variation in the success rates of Triple Therapy. Studies reveal large differences in success rates – in some studies we see eradication rates of 80-90%, in others the eradication rates are as low as 50%.
For example, a study conducted by Dr. Peter Malfertheiner and reported in The Lancet in March 2011 revealed that standard triple therapy was only effective in 55% of the patients treated as opposed to an 80% success rate in a group of patients given Quadruple Therapy.
The following statement is taken from the 2009 report of the European Helicobacter study group, edited by Dr David Graham, MD.
“The recommended first-line treatment in Europe and North America is proton pump inhibitor (antacid) combined with amoxicillin and clarithromycin being the favoured regimen. Rates of eradication with this regimen however are falling alarmingly due to a combination of antibiotic resistance and poor compliance with therapy.”
Let’s take a look at the key issues:
Triple therapy is not as effective as it used to be because H pylori strains are becoming more resistant to the treatments.
Compliance rates in treatment are falling. It’s not clear why, but it’s very important to understand that some people simply cannot tolerate the medications.
Both the antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (antacids) can cause significant side effects that prevent patients from completing the full course of medication.
The side effects can absolutely worsen a patient’s situation and can cause more problems than they solve.
The use of antibiotics can cause increased drug resistance in many other potentially dangerous types of bacteria such as Clostridium difficile.
The use of antacids and antibiotics can lead to yeast and fungal overgrowth, which can cause the same, similar, or even worse symptoms than H pylori itself.
Other Medical Treatment Interventions
If Triple Therapy fails, some doctors are aware of the other H pylori therapy options.
However it is fair to say that many doctors are not fully aware of these additional options and simply continue to prescribe the same treatment over and over again, without success.
Options include bismuth-based quadruple therapy, sequential therapy and therapy with a drug called Levofloxacin.
What Should You Do?
- If you have used first-line Triple Therapy without success, ask your doctor about the following second line therapies:
- Quadruple Therapy with bisumth compounds
- Sequential Therapy
- If these therapies still do not work for you, third line therapies are also available using rifabutin and furazolidone.
The use of both antacids and antibiotics has been shown to cause Candida overgrowth in the stomach. Candida is a type of yeast/fungus that can cause the same symptoms as H pylori.
The overgrowth of Candida can mean that your symptoms either do not improve or get worse!
I want to make it very clear that even when you eradicate H pylori, symptoms may not go away.
Common foods that you’re eating as well as the damage that was caused by H pylori may mean that you still have a lot of symptoms even if your test shows that the H pylori bacteria have been eradicated.
Confused? We Can Help!
If you are struggling with H pylori or any issues and symptoms that are discussed on this website, we have the tools and expertise to help you.
However we fully acknowledge that the Internet is a difficult place for us to gain your trust because of the scams that are out there (we’ve fallen foul of some of them ourselves).
Therefore we strongly recommend that you first become a member by simply entering your email address and first name in the area below so that we can share a little more of what we do with you.
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It is my hope that this information has been useful for you.
- Graham, K. & Graham, D. 2002. Contemporary Diagnosis and Management of H. pylori-Associated Gastrointestinal Disease. Handbooks in Healthcare Co.
- Usta et al. Comparison of the Short and Long Term Helicobacter pylori Treatment Protocols in Children. Helicobacter. 2007 (P065); 12: 379-476.
- Graham, D. and Shiotani, A. 2008. New Concepts of Resistance in the Treatment of Helicobacter pylori. Nature Clinical Practice Gastro & Hep.
- Egan et al, Treatment of Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter. 2007; Vol 12; Supp 1, Oct: 31-37.
- Uygun et al. Sequential Treatment of Helicobacter pylori in Patients with Non-ulcer Dyspepsia. Helicobacter. 2007 (QW8.06); 12: 379-476
- Uygun et al. The Efficacy of Bismuth Containing Quadruple Therapy as a First-Line Treatment Option for Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter. 2007 (P067); 12: 379-476.
- Saltik-Temizel et al. Second-Line Helicobacter pylori Therapy Eradication Failure in Children. Helicobacter. 2007 (P075); 12: 379-476.
- Wuppenhorst et al. Management of H pylori Resistance: Lessons from the First Multivariate Data Analysis of the German Sentinel Study ResiNet. Helicobacter. 2007 (P056); 12: 379-476.
- O’Connor A. et al. Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection 2010. Helicobacter 2010; 15 (Suppl.1) 46-52.
- Garcia, TG et al. High prevalence of Clarithromycin resistance and cag-A, vac-A, ice2 and Bab-A genotypes of Helicobacter pylori infection. J Clin Microb. 2010 Nov; 48(11): 4266-4268.