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Preventive Antibiotics Help Some Kids Fend Off Urinary Infections
Date:10/28/2009

Modest reduction may be worthwhile for those most at risk, experts say ,,,,

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are predisposed to recurrent urinary tract infections are commonly treated with preventive antibiotics, and a new Australian study suggests that such prophylactic therapy may have at least a modest effect.

Only 13 percent of youngsters who were given the antibiotic combination of trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole (brand names Bactrim and Septra) developed a urinary tract infection while on the medication compared to 19 percent of the children on a placebo, according to the study.

"There was a small benefit across many groups of children, which will be worthwhile in some -- e.g., very young children, those with severe infections and those with recurrent infections," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jonathan C. Craig, a professor of clinical epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Results of the study are published in the Oct. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. According to the study, 2 percent of boys and 8 percent of girls will have at least one UTI by the time they're 7 years old. Although often a mild infection, UTIs can be serious, with as many as 5 percent of children with one of these infections developing some type of kidney damage.

And that kidney damage can be long-lasting, according to Dr. Alejandro Hoberman, of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, who authored an accompanying editorial in the journal.

"Some children have a condition known as vesicoureteral reflux, which with a urinary tract infection can lead to renal scarring, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure, the pregnancy complication preeclampsia and even kidney problems," Hoberman explained.

Craig's study included children with varyin
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