A. Pilotto et al., Cure of Helicobacter pylori infection in elderly patients: comparison of low versus high doses of clarithromycin in combination with amoxicillin and pantoprazole, ALIM PHARM, 15(7), 2001, pp. 1031-1036
Background: Advancing age may influence clarithromycin's pharmacokinetics.
No studies have yet compared the effects of different dosages of clarithrom
ycin in combination with a proton pump inhibitor and amoxicillin in elderly
Aim: To compare the efficacy and tolerability of clarithromycin 250 mg vs.
clarithromycin 500 mg twice daily (b.d.) in combination with pantoprazole a
nd amoxicillin in elderly patients.
Methods: One hundred and fifty-four elderly patients with H. pylori-associa
ted ulcer disease or chronic gastritis were consecutively randomized to rec
eive pantoprazole 40 mg daily plus amoxicillin 1 g, and either clarithromyc
in 250 mg b.d, (PAC 250) or clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. (PAC 500). Two month
s after therapy, endoscopy and gastric biopsies were repeated.
Results: The cure rates of H. pylori infection in the PAC 250 and PAC 500 g
roups were, respectively, 83% and 79% (ITT analysis) and 94% and 88% (PP an
alysis) (P = N.S.). Significant decreases in chronic gastritis activity bot
h in the body (P < 0.00001) and the antrum (P < 0.0001) of the stomach were
found in H. pylori-cured patients, independently of clarithromycin dosage.
Four patients in PAC 250 (5%) and seven in PAC 500 (9%) reported adverse e
vents (P = N.S.). One patient in PAC 250 (25%) and three in PAC 500 (43%) d
iscontinued the study because of these drug-related side-effects (P = N.S.)
Conclusions: In elderly patients, 1-week triple therapy with a proton pump
inhibitor, amoxicillin and clarithromycin is a highly effective and well to
lerated anti-H. pylori treatment. With this combination, clarithromycin at
the lower dose of 250 mg b.d. achieved excellent cure rates and minimized a
dverse events and costs.