Efficacy of Omeprazole, Tetracycline, and 4 Times Daily Dosing of Amoxicillin in Helicobacter pylori Eradication in Limited Resource Area in Bhutan: A Prospective Randomized Trial (BHUTAN Study)

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University Hospital, Pathumthani, Thailand.

2 Department of Medicine, Chulabhorn International College of Medicine (CICM) at Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Pathumthani, Thailand.

3 Digestive diseases Research Center (DRC), Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.

4 Department of Surgery, Rajavithi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.

5 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.

6 Department of Molecular Pathology, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Yufu, Japan.

7 Department of Surgery, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan.

8 Gastrointestinal and Liver Center, Bangkok Medical Center, Bangkok, Thailand.

9 Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Yufu, Japan.


Backgrourd: H. pylori-associated gastric cancer is the first cancer-related death in Bhutan. Effective regimen for H. pylori eradication is essential to reduce risk of developing gastric cancer. Clarithromycin is not widely used in this limited resource country. Aim of this study was to evaluate proper regimen and prevalence of antibiotic resistance pattern for H. pylori eradication in Bhutan. Methods: Five hundred and forty-six patients underwent gastroscopy during GASTROCAMP between October 2014 and April 2015 in Bhutan and 77 patients were enrolled. Four gastric biopsies were obtained for rapid urease test, histopathology, H. pylori culture with Epsilometer test. All H. pylori-positive patients were randomized to receive either 7-day or 14-day of 500 mg amoxicillin four times daily, 500 mg tetracycline four times daily, and 20 mg omeprazole twice daily. Results: Seventy-seven subjects were enrolled (54 females, 23 males, mean age = 45.4 years). Of 77 patients, 52 (67.5%) received 7-day regimen while 25 (32.5%) had 14-day regimen. Prevalence of H. pylori was 38.2%. Antibiotic resistance was 80.0% for metronidazole, 11.1% for levofloxacin and no resistance seen in amoxicillin, tetracycline and clarithromycin. Overall eradication rates of 7-day and 14-day regimens were 51.9% and 80.0%, p = 0.02. Female and age ≥40 years had significantly higher eradication rate when receiving 14-day compared to 7-day regimen (94.1% vs. 45.9%, OR = 18.82; 95% CI 2.26-157.02, p = 0.0007 and 86.7% vs. 50.0%, OR = 6.50; 95% CI 1.25-33.91, p = 0.02, respectively). Conclusions: Fourteen-day regimen might be an acceptable regimen for H. pylori eradication in limited resource area such as Bhutan. Female and age ≥40 years should receive longer duration of treatment. This 14-day regimen could at least reduce the risk of developing H. pylori-associated diseases especially peptic ulcer with complications and gastric cancer which lead to many deaths in Bhutan.


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