Medical Articles

Title: Urea Breath Test
Date: 07-Oct-2012

What is a Urea Breath Test?
Urea breath test is a simple test conducted on a patient's breath to detect H. Pylori infection. It is widely recognized as the "gold standard" for in vivo diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Only 2 breath samples are needed, one breath sample at the beginning of the test before ingestion of the urea tablet and the other breath sample at 20 minutes after ingestion of urea tablet.

Feature & Benefits of the Urea Breath Test

How to Carry Out 13C-Urea Breath Test?
Easy & Safe for Your Patients

  • 4 simple steps
  • Non-radioactive
  • If samples are analyzed in clinics, results can be obtained within 25 minutes

Please always instruct the patient to exhale into the mouthpiece of the bag until it is BLOATED. Sufficient amount of air sample is crucial to obtain valid results. Insufficient air in the bag may produce invalid results which require a repeat collection. This will lead to reagent wastage and inconvenience to your patient.


*Patient in a fasting condition to promptly (within 5 sec) swallow one UBIT Tablet with 100mL of water without being crushed or chewed.

Easy & Safe for Your Staff

  • No special training required
  • Breath collection takes only 20 minutes
  • Call for laboratory service provider to collect breath sample

How Safe is the Test?
13C-Urea Breath Test is widely recognized as the easiest, safest and most reliable non-invasive diagnostic test by many gastroenterologists. Unlike 14C, 13C is a stable, non-radioactive isotope. About 1.1% of our body contains naturally occurring 13C. A normal daily food intake of an adult will contain about 3g of 13C. During the test, patient takes 100mg 13C-Urea, which only represents a further intake of 13C. The amount of urea (100 mg) taken during a breath test is only a small percentage of the average total body urea pool of 10g.

What is Needed to do the Test?
Only breath bags and urea tablets are required. There is no additional mouthpiece necessary. Otsuka's breath bags are neatly designed and are disposable, presenting a cost effective and safe solution! There are no recyclable parts, hence , no worries about risk of infections or contaminations. Extremely stable breath bags, allow breath sample to be stable up to 10 weeks after sampling date. In addition, the "one-way air valve design" of the breath bags prevents sampling leakages and errors.

What should My Patient Do before the Test?

  • Fast for at least 6 hours prior to test
  • No smoking for 2 hours prior to testing
  • Ensure compliance with drug therapy – see below:
    Antibiotics / Antibacterial
    These drugs must be stopped at least 4 weeks before Urea Breath testing:
    Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxam),Bismuth tricitrate (Denol), Clarithromycin (Klacid), Fasigyn (Trinidazole), Metronidazole (Flagyl), Tetracycline (Tetrex, Mysteclin, Achromycin), and any other antiobiotics.

    Proton Pump Inhibitors
    These drugs must be stopped at least 1 week before Urea Breath testing:
    Losec (Omeprazole), Somac (Pantoprazole Sodium Sesquihydrate), Zoton (Lansoprazole) and Nexiam.

    H2 Receptor Antagonists
    These drugs must be stopped at least 24 hours before Urea Breath testing.
    Cimetidine (Tagamet, Sigmetadine, Magicul), Famotidine (Amfarnax, Pepcid, Pepcidine), Nizatidine (Tazac) and Quick EzeRanitidine (Zantac, Rani 2).


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