If you are found to have Helicobacter pylori infection, you may wish to have antibiotic treatment of some kind. Treatment of Helicobacter pylori is usually simple & straight forward. However, , occasional patients need repeated endoscopies, biopsies,breath tests and several courses of treatment with different antibiotic combinations..
After treatment of H. pylori , it is necessary to repeat one of these tests to see if the germ has been killed or eradicated for good. Only breath tests or endoscopy with biopsy can be used to prove that the bacterium has been eradicated. The blood tests *(serology ) is not suitable to monitor H.pylori eradication because antibodies to H.pylori may remain positive for months or even years after successfully killing the H. pylori .
Risks of H. Pylori Therapy
For a detailed explanation of drug interactions and side effects see on line drug list .
If you are pregnant or likely to become so, you should tell your doctor and he/she may decide not to treat your H. Pylori infection or to use a special combination of antibiotic therapy.
Antibiotic therapy should not be given unless a diagnostic test for H.pylori has been performed and a positive result is obtained. The absence of H.pylori in peptic ulcer is a diagnostic pointer to an unusual and perhaps more serious etiology. There is no justification for treating patients longer than 14 days. Cure rates have been less with shorter therapies but longer therapies have not been shown to result in greater cure rates. If 14 day therapy fails, the bacterium is probably resistant to that antibiotic combination and future therapy may need to be guided by antimicrobial sensitivity testing of the cultured organism from that particular patient.
If therapy fails, your doctor should try not to use the same combination of antibiotics again . H.pylori easily becomes resistant to metronidazole and clarithromycin so these agents should not be used twice unless antibiotic sensitivity data is available to support their continued use. After therapy, avoid antimicrobial agents for 4 weeks and omeprazole for one week before doing a diagnostic test (biopsy for histology and CLOtest , or a urea breath test either C14 or C13 ) to confirm eradication.
A detailed table is available showing Dr Marshall's Treatments for 2006
Your doctor may wish to perform endoscopy and biopsy with culture to check the antibiotic susceptibilities./ sensitivities of the H.pylori strain you have. . Knowing the antibiotic sensitivity profile of the H.pylori strain you have been infected with the doctor can then treat you with the most appropriate antibiotic combination that will get rid of the H.pylori you have..
We recommend that you take the real medically proven therapies described above. Interestingly, some compounds used as natural therapies do suppress (but not cure) Helicobacter pylori . An example is lactobacilli found in yoghurt)!
Basically, HP is tough to eradicate if you don't do it "by the book".
|© Helicobacter Foundation 2006|