Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-17

Furazolidone-based therapies for Helicobacter pylori infection: A pooled-data analysis

1 Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
2 Gastroenterology and Digestive Endoscopy, 'Nuovo Regina Margherita' Hospital, Rome, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Vincenzo De Francesco
Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Foggia, Ospedali Riuniti, Viale L. Pinto, 71100 Foggia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.91729

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Background/Aim: Furazolidone-based therapies are used in developing countries to cure Helicobacter pylori infection due to its low cost. The low bacterial resistance toward furazolidone may render appealing the use of this drug even in developed countries. However, some relevant safety concerns do exist in using furazolidone. Patients and Methods : This was a systematic review with pooled-data analysis of data regarding both eradication rate and safety of furazolidone-based therapies for H. pylori infection. Intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) eradication rates were calculated. Results : Following furazolidone-based first-line therapy, H. pylori eradication rates were 75.7% and 79.6% at ITT and PP analysis, respectively (P<0.001). The overall incidence of side effects and severe side effects were 33.2% and 3.8%, respectively. At multivariate analysis, only high-dose furazolidone was associated with increased therapeutic success (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.3-2.7; P<0.001), while occurrence of side effects was relevant following treatment for a long duration (OR: 2.9, 95% CI: 2.2-4.1; P<0.001), high-dose furazolidone (OR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.7-3.2; P<0.001) and bismuth-containing regimens (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.5-2.8; P<0.001). Conclusions: Furazolidone-based regimens usually achieve low eradication rates. Only a high-dose regimen improves the cure rate, but simultaneously increases the incidence of severe side effects. Therefore, we suggest that patients have to be clearly informed about the possible genotoxic and carcinogenetic effects for which furazolidone use is not approved in developed countries.

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