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Antibiotics ‘equally effective’ for UTIs

By Lilian Anekwe

Most classes of antibiotics for the treatment of women with urinary tract infections are equally effective, according to a Gold-standard review.

Researchers included twenty one ‘good quality' studies of 6016 women who used different classes of antimicrobials to treat acute cystitis in women for between three and ten days.

No statistically significant differences were observed in the likelihood of either short term or long term cure between trimethoprim and fluoroquinolones, beta-lactam drugs and trimethoprim, or nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim.

Fluoroquinolones were more effective than beta-lactam, and were 22% more likely to result in short-term cure than beta-lactams, but the researchers said this finding probably had ‘little clinical significance'.

Study leader Dr Anca Zalmanovici Trestioreanu, a member of the Cochrane Renal Group, concluded: ‘No differences were observed between the classes of antimicrobials included in this review for the symptomatic cure of acute uncomplicated UTI.

'Individualised treatment should take into consideration the predictable susceptibility of urinary pathogens in local areas, possible adverse events and resistance development, and patient preference.'

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD007182

Urine testing