We evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of a dual therapy with rabeprazole and amoxicillin (AMX) as an empiric third-line rescue therapy. In patients with failure of first-line treatment with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-AMX-clarithromycin regimen and second-line treatment with the PPI-AMX-metronidazole regimen, a third-line eradication regimen with rabeprazole (10 mg q.i.d.) and AMX (500 mg q.i.d.) was prescribed for 2 wk. Eradication was confirmed by the results of the 13C-urea breath test (UBT) at 12 wk after the therapy. A total of 46 patients were included; however, two were lost to follow-up. The eradication rates as determined by per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses were 65.9% and 63.0%,respectively. The pretreatment UBT results in the subjects showing eradication failure; those patients showing successful eradication comprised 32.9 ± 28.8 permil and 14.8 ± 12.8 permil, respectively. The pretreatment UBT results in the subjects with eradication failure were significantly higher than those in the patients with successful eradication (P= 0.019). A low pretreatment UBT result (≤ 28.5 permil) predicted the success of the eradication therapy with a positive predictive value of 81.3% and a sensitivity of 89.7%. Adverse effects were reported in 18.2% of the patients, mainly diarrhea and stomatitis. Dual therapy with rabeprazole and AMX appears to serve as a potential empirical third-line strategy for patients with low values on pretreatment UBT.
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