The Helicobacter Foundation


What alternative medication is there if the existing ones didn't work and is it going to be a life time problem?
Have a look at the review article by Dr. Chey and Dr. Marshall describing the latest treatments for H. pylori.


I took Biaxin, Flagyl and Prilosec for 21 days and felt significantly better for a while. However, the pain is back. Is it possible that the bacteria are drug resistant?
Yes, it is possible that the bacteria are drug resistant. You should have a breath test four weeks after treatment to see if it has been eradicated. You should read the treatment article to work out what the next treatment option is.


Can taking Biaxin for a sinus infection make me more tolerant towards antibiotics taken to treat H. pylori?
Yes. Taking Biaxin for a sinus infection will cause the stomach H. pylori infection to become resistant to Biaxin.


Is there any basis for administering ampicillin (500mg) four times a day for fourteen days instead of amoxycillin (500mg) twice per day for fourteen days? What are the advantages/ disadvantages of either agent?
Twice day amoxycillin is more convenient. Studies on H. pylori with ampicillin have not been done because ampicillin is less commonly used. Ampicillin is less well absorbed than amoxycillin so you would probably need to use higher doses than 2 grams total per day.


Is taking Flagyl, Losec and ampicyllin for two weeks the right medication for treating H. pylori?
This is one of the commonly used treatments for H. pylori. It is usually given for 14 days and has a cure rate of between 80 and 85%.


Both my parents and I are infected with H. pylori. My mother was put on Helidac and it cured her infection. If we are all infected with the same strain of H. pylori, wouldn't it be best to use Helidac, as it seems to have been effective with my mother.
There is no guarantee that you all have exactly the same strain. Usually about 50% of people with H. pylori have strains that were acquired from somewhere else other than from within their family.


What are the doses of tetracycline and metranidazole to treat a sixty year old lady with halitosis?
H. pylori treatment will work - see treatment table.


Is it possible to successfully treat a H. pylori infection with antibiotics alone, or is it necessary to combine it with an acid blocker?
It is possible to treat an H. pylori infection with antibiotics alone, but high doses of multiple antibiotics are required. For this reason we always combine treatment with an acid blocker (proton pump inhibitor) because this makes the antibiotics work much better.


How does the H. pylori vaccine work, and will it be effective?
We don't know whether a vaccine for H. pylori is possible. Nature has been unable to eradicate the organism from the human body after thousands of years of evolution. A vaccine that tricks the immune system into working a different way will probably be required. This may take another 5 to 10 years.


Are there any alternative medications for eliminating H. pylori?
No. Alternative medicines are an alternative for patients who are unable to be treated by conventional medicine (in my opinion). Thus, the treatment for H. pylori is known, so alternative medicines are unnecessary. The large multinational drug companies, who spend millions of dollars per year studying these compounds, have investigated most of the alternative medications for therapeutic effect. If any alternative medications are found to be effective for H. pylori they will be rapidly brought to the marketplace and provided as prescription drugs. Since none of them have been marketed in this way so far, we can presume that none of them have been found to be effective for H. pylori. No doubt many things we eat can effect H. pylori by causing its numbers to increase or decrease, but so far no natural foods or medications have been found to actually cure the infection. Without total cure of the infection, the problem never resolves.


Are there any efforts being made towards homoeopathic treatment of H. pylori?
Not really. Homeopathy, naturopathy etc, are generally a waste of time once the true course of a disease is understood (like H. pylori).


I heard that Metranidazole should be given in doses of 250mg four times a day instead of twice a day. Is that true?
No. Metranidazole should be given twice a day.


My doctor put me on Metranidazole 250mg twice a day, Tetracycline 500mg four times a day, Pepto-Bismol two tablets four times a day and Prevacid 15mg twice a day for one week. Is this treatment correct?
No. You should read the treatment instructions on this website.


I want to have a baby with my husband in the near future, but I'm scared that the 9 months that I go off Losec, I will develop some type of cancer. What shall I do?
Most effects on the foetus occur during the first 12 weeks when the various organs are developing. If you have a severe case of reflux requiring Losec then your obstetrician may be able to keep you off medications just for the first 12 weeks or so and after that reinstate them. Obviously this is very specialised management and you will need to discuss it with your specialist physician.


Are doctors treating asymptomatic H. pylori to mitigate long term CA risk?
See my comments on gastric cancer. In some ethnic groups it is probably worthwhile treating H. pylori.


I have Rosacea and tested borderline positive for H. pylori. Should I stop my twice daily routine of Dynacin, topical Metrogel, Cleocin, sulfacet-R and facial washes while taking H. pylori treatment?
You should continue with your Rosacea treatment while taking H. pylori treatment.
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