Helicobacter pylori is an important risk factor for peptic ulcers. If the infection is cured, then ulcers associated with H. pylori do not recur.
In this study, doctors from Denmark describe the long-term effect of H. pylori eradication on the use of anti-ulcer medication in patients with peptic ulcers.
The team included all patients in the Danish county of Funen (population 470,000) who redeemed their first prescription for eradicating H. pylori between 1992 and 1996.
All included patients had uncomplicated peptic ulcers confirmed endoscopically.
|42% of patients were taking antisecretory drugs long-term.|
|British Medical Journal|
They defined long-term use of antisecretory drugs (H2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors) as more than 56 daily doses per year.
The investigators found that of the 2099 patients, 709 had duodenal ulcers and 470 of gastric ulcer.
They also found that 1 year H. pylori eradication 42% of patients were taking antisecretory drugs long-term. The team determined that this use was related to long-term use of antisecretory drugs during the year before eradication of H. pylori, the presence of esophagitis, being over 60 years of age, and to calendar years.
However, it long-term antisecretory drug use was not related to whether the ulcer was duodenal or gastric, or to use of aspirin or NSAIDs.
Dr Annmarie Lassen's team concluded, "Many patients with ulcers continue to take antisecretory drugs after eradication of H pylori".
"Reasons for continuing use…may include persistent reflux or dyspeptic symptoms in spite of effective eradication of H pylori.