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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

What consideration should be given to Helicobacter pylori in treating nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug ulcers?

Although Helicobacter pylori and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) both cause peptic ulcers, they do so by different mechanisms so any interaction is not necessarily harmful. H. pylori has been shown to enhance gastric mucosal prostaglandin synthesis, while NSAIDs suppress it Pragmatically, there is no compelling evidence in favour of H. pylori eradication in all patients who take NSAIDs. As a broad generalisation, in therapeutic studies of NSAID users, those who have no ulcer at trial entry are more prone to ulcer development if they are H. pylori-positive. By contrast, in those who have ulcers at baseline, H. pylori-positive individuals are less likely to develop ulcers, particularly if taking acid-suppressive therapy. Trials of H. pylori eradication therapy tend to replicate this dichotomy. In one study of patients starting NSAIDs for the first time, with no ulcer history and no baseline ulcer, use of bismuth-based eradication therapy was associated with a lower incidence of gastric ulcer at 2 months. Conversely, in a study of patients with endoscopically proven ulcers and/or troublesome dyspepsia, proton pump inhibitor based eradication treatment had no effect on outcome (of acid suppression) over 6 months. H. pylori eradication has been associated with significantly slower healing of gastric ulcers compared with patients who did not undergo eradication. However, the effect of H. pylori eradication on healing of NSAID-associated duodenal ulcers does not appear to be so dramatic, and limited evidence suggests that it may be possible to prevent H. pylori-associated duodenal ulcer by eradicating the infection. An evidence-based approach to treatment would suggest that NSAID users should undergo H. pylori eradication therapy if they have a duodenal ulcer, whether or not they continue NSAIDs. Because COX-2 inhibitors appear not to be ulcerogenic, management of H. pylori in patients taking these drugs can be based upon the same risk assessment as in patients not taking anti-arthritis drugs. H. pylori eradication should not be used universally or in high-risk gastric ulcer patients who require management with acid suppression.[1]


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