Working in tandem

Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

A two-drug therapy that promises to cure stomach ulcers and prevent their recurrence has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Under the newly approved regimen, patients will take the existing ulcer drug Prilosec in conjunction with an antibiotic called Biaxin for 14 days, then continue to take Prilosec for an additional 13 days. Since the high stomach acid concentration found in most ulcer patients can break down the antibiotic ifitis taken by itself, the Prilosec is used to abate the acid, so the Biaxin can kill the ulcer bacteria, Helicobacter pylori. Tests show that the combination healed almost 90 per cent of ulcers and eradicated the H pylori infection by 64 per cent.

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