Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and the safety of a short-term regimen (weekend therapy) in the cure of Helicobacter pylori infection and to analyze the factors that may influence the success of the treatment. Methods: Seventy-one patients with gastric colonization by a tinidazole sensitive H. pylori strain (34 duodenal ulcer and 37 nonulcer dyspepsia) received omeprazole 40 mg o.m. for 7 days (from Monday to Sunday) and bismuth 240 mg q.i.d. + amoxicillin 1000 mg/q.i.d. + tinidazole 500 mg q.i.d. for only 2 days (Saturday and Sunday). Endoscopy, histology, culture, urease test, and susceptibility studies were done at entry and 30 days after treatment. Results: Successful eradication was obtained in 84% of patients. The percentage of eradication was higher in duodenal ulcer patients (94%) than in those with nonulcer dyspepsia (74%; p <0.05), and in patients who received the treatment during hot weather (94%) than in those who received the treatment during cold weather (74%; p <0.05). Side-effects were induced by the treatment in 17% of patients, and these were all not severe, self-limiting, short-lasting, and did not require specific treatment. Conclusions: These data suggested that weekend therapy with high doses of drugs represents an effective, safe, and inexpensive therapeutic approach for the treatment of H. pylori infection, particularly in patients with duodenal ulcer. Furthermore, they also confirm the relevant role that short-term treatments may play in the therapeutic approach to H. pylori infection, and highlight some important aspects influencing short-term schedules.
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