Navigation Links
Can You Skip Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infection?

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Some women with symptoms of a urinary tract infection may be able to skip the antibiotics typically prescribed and have their symptoms improve or clear, according to a new Dutch study.

"In healthy people, many mild infections can be cured spontaneously," said study leader Dr. Bart Knottnerus, a researcher at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam.

A U.S. expert, however, had a number of cautions about the findings, including the small number of women studied.

For the research, published May 31 in the journal BMC Family Practice, Knottnerus recruited women from 20 general medical practices in and around the Netherlands from 2006 to 2008. Women who had contacted their doctor complaining of frequent urination, painful urination or both were asked if they would be willing to delay antibiotics -- but only if their symptoms had been present for no longer than seven days.

Certain women were excluded, including those pregnant or breast-feeding or those whose immune systems were compromised.

In all, 176 women participated. Of those, 137 were asked to delay antibiotics and 51 agreed. All the women gave a urine sample to be analyzed and cultured. The women reported on their symptoms over the next week.

After a week, 28 of the 51 women willing to delay antibiotic use still had not used an antibiotic. Twenty of these women (71 percent) reported disappearance or improvement of their symptoms. Of these 20, more than a third had a positive culture result, indicating an infection. The researchers did not know the culture results at the start of the study.

Most of the women not willing to delay antibiotics had a positive culture.

The women who did agree to delay, Knottnerus said, might be aware of the bacterial resistance that can result from antibiotic use. "Furthermore," he said, "in the Netherlands, other mild infections -- like eye, ear, throat and respiratory infections -- are usually not treated with antibiotics. Therefore, people might be more receptive to delayed antibiotic prescriptions."

Antibiotics for urinary tract infections usually work within two or three days. How would an infection clear on its own? "Our defense mechanisms are strong and often do not need any help from antibiotics," Knottnerus said. He studied only uncomplicated infections of the bladder -- defined as those in healthy, non-pregnant women.

Dr. Jennifer Leighdon Wu, a gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, was cautious about the findings. "The number of women who agreed to delay was 51," she said. "Before changing my practice, I would like to see much larger numbers."

Checking in with your doctor might uncover some other problem, she said. "I can't tell you how many people have come in thinking it's a urinary tract infection and it's a yeast infection," she said.

In her practice, Wu will sometimes prescribe antibiotics right away, especially if a woman is in pain. For others, she may wait until the culture comes back, which usually takes about three days. "If you can wait until the culture comes back, the patient will probably receive more appropriate antibiotics," she said, as the doctor can then target the antibiotic to the organism found in the culture.

"You have to be really careful about who you are asking to forego antibiotic treatment," she said. It could be especially dangerous in older patients. The women in the study, on average, were in their early 40s.

Antibiotics are needed if a woman has symptoms such as fever, shivering and flank pain, Knottnerus said, as this may indicate the infection has progressed to the kidneys.

As for cranberry juice, which some women use to self-treat, Knottnerus said there is no hard evidence that it works to treat infections, but it may help prevent them.

More information

To learn more about urinary tract infections, visit the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Bart Knottnerus, M.D., researcher, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Jennifer Leighdon Wu, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; May 31, 2013, BMC Family Practice

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Antibiotics Linked to Retinal Detachment Risk
2. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
3. Study Finds Antibiotics Best for Appendicitis
4. FDA Seeks to Limit Antibiotics in Animal Feed
5. Timing of antibiotics important in reducing infections after C-section
6. Two Antibiotics Linked to Liver Injury in Elderly
7. Antibiotics Dont Ease Coughs in Kids With Common Cold: Study
8. Electronic visits offer accurate diagnoses, may lead to overprescribing of antibiotics
9. BioMAP screening procedure could streamline search for new antibiotics
10. Frog-in-bucket-of-milk folklore leads to potential new antibiotics
11. Evidence insufficient to recommend routine antibiotics for joint replacement patients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Can You Skip Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infection?
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in ... that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to ... dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The ... and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, ... and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity Point Recovery, ... together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are most grateful ... Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, describing the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... of workshops to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection ... in collaboration with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... users a new set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This ... style options. These classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & ... Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical ... 2020" report to their offering. ... addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  The American Academy ... Gynecologists (ACOG), and the March of Dimes cheered ... Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), ... of newborns born exposed to drugs, such as ... bill,s introduction, all three organizations have worked together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest ... dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for ... solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory enter ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: