Decision analysis of Histamine H2 - Receptor Antagonist Maintenance Therapy versus Helicobacter Pylori Eradication Therapy

Manouchehr Tavakoli, AT Prach, Mohammed Mehdi Malek, D Hopwood, B.W. Senior, F.E. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Much has been published on the efficacy and cost effectiveness of Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment as an alternative to histamine H2-receptor antagonist maintenance treatment in peptic ulcer disease. However, most studies have analysed and emphasised H. pylori eradication rates rather than management/control of symptoms and the associated cost savings. Although H. pylori eradication therapy is very successful in clearing the infection, dyspeptic symptoms may persist and management of these can be expensive.

Objective: The aim of this studywas to assess the cost implications in controlling symptoms using either H2-receptor antagonist maintenance therapy or H. pylori eradication therapy in patients with duodenal ulcer disease.

Design: This was a non-blind, prospective, randomised, parallel-group study comparing maintenance H2-receptor antagonist treatment using ranitidine with H. pylori eradication therapy, with a 1-year follow-up.

Setting: This was a study of outpatients from general practices in Dundee, Scotland, or the Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, gastroenterology clinic.

Patients and participants: 119 patientswith confirmed duodenal ulcer, free from active ulceration at study entry but positive for H. pylori infection, who were receiving maintenance H2-receptor antagonist therapy.

Interventions: Patients were randomised to receive either continuing maintenance therapy with ranitidine (initially 150mg daily; 58 patients) or H. pylori eradication therapy using an omeprazole/amoxicillin/metronidazole regimen (or omeprazole/clarithromycin if allergic to penicillin).

Main outcome measures and results: Overall, H. pylori eradication rates were 100% per protocol and 95.1% intention-to-treat. At completion of 1 year of follow-up, 12 of the 61 (19.7%) patients successfully eradicated of H. pylori were still dependent on acid suppression for symptom relief. H. pylori eradication treatment was the least-cost strategy in managing/controlling symptoms at 1 year (£168 vs £210 per patient; 1996 values). However, over time, post-eradication treatment costs were greater than H2-receptor antagonist therapy costs. Any potential savings were directly related to the proportion of patients needing further treatment post-eradication, the cost of endoscopy and the urea breath test.

Conclusions: If dyspepsia persists long term, H. pylori eradication treatment may not be the least-cost option for patients with duodenal ulcer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


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