Currently, a standard third-line therapy for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication remains to be established. Quinolones show good oral absorption, no major side effects, and marked activity against H. pylori. Several authors have studied quinolone-based third-line therapy and reported encouraging results, with the reported H. pylori cure rates ranging from 60% to 84%. Resistance to quinolones is easily acquired, and the resistance rate is relatively high in countries with a high consumption rate of these drugs. We recently reported a significant difference in the eradication rate obtained between patients infected with gatifloxacin-susceptible and gatifloxacin-resistant H. pylori, suggesting that the selection of quinolones for third-line therapy should be based on the results of drug susceptibility testing. As other alternatives of third-line rescue therapies, rifabutin-based triple therapy, high-dose proton pump inhibitor/amoxicillin therapy and furazolidone-based therapy have been suggested.
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