Drug Could Be Non-Antibiotic Alternative to Treat UTIs

FRIDAY, March 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Women tormented by frequent urinary tract infections typically take each day antibiotics to ward them off. But an previous antibiotic different may work simply as nicely, a brand new medical trial finds.

Researchers found that the treatment, referred to as methenamine, was comparable to customary, low-dose antibiotics in stopping ladies’s recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Either deal with the infections round one per 12 months, on common.

methenamine is a long-established treatment that works by making the urine extra acidic and stopping bacterial development. Studies have proven that it may stop recurrent UTIs, but it surely’s not extensively used.

It’s such an “old” drug, many medical doctors as we speak have no idea about it, stated Dr. Karyn Eilber, a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Eilber, who was not concerned within the new research, stated she reserves each day antibiotics as a final resort for stopping recurrent UTIs, favoring methenamine as a substitute.

A priority with each day antibiotic use is feeding antibiotic resistance, the place micro organism be taught to thwart the drugs used to kill them. Plus, Eilber stated, it disrupts the physique’s regular bacterial steadiness.

Dr. Chris Harding, a guide urological surgeon at Freeman Hospital within the United Kingdom, led the trial.

He stated it “adds supportive evidence for the use of methenamine and will be particularly welcome to those women with recurrent UTI who want to avoid long-term antibiotic treatment.”

UTIs are exceedingly widespread and might have an effect on anybody, however are significantly prevalent amongst ladies. Studies counsel up to 80% of girls develop a UTI in some unspecified time in the future, and about one-quarter of these ladies go on to have frequent recurrences.

Some signs embrace burning throughout urination, and feeling a robust, persistent urge to urinate.

The new research revealed on-line March 9 within theBMJ concerned 240 ladies with recurring UTIs. At the beginning, they have been averaging round six UTIs per 12 months.

Half of the ladies have been randomly assigned to each day low-dose antibiotic remedy, whereas the opposite half took methenamine twice a day.

Over one 12 months of remedy, each teams noticed a major decline in UTI episodes. Women within the antibiotic group averaged just below one bout per particular person for the 12 months, whereas these taking methenamine had simply over one episode per particular person.

That is a small distinction, Harding stated, and one which, based mostly on affected person focus teams, wouldn’t be thought of “clinically meaningful.”

As for negative effects, a small variety of ladies in every group reported issues like nausea, stomach ache and diarrhea. Six ladies developed a UTI with fever, and 4 wanted to be hospitalized all of whom have been within the methenamine group.

Whether treating extra UTIs with methenamine will assist battle the issue of antibiotic resistance is an open query. During the one 12 months of remedy on this trial, ladies on antibiotics have been extra probably to harbor micro organism resistant to at the very least one antibiotic. But that modified when their micro organism have been sampled six months later: Those who had taken methenamine had extra antibiotic-resistant bugs.

Harding stated that discovering “should be interpreted with caution,” because the trial was not primarily aimed toward gauging antibiotic resistance.

“Further research is definitely indicated in this area,” he stated.

For now, ladies ought to know there are alternatives for stopping frequent UTIs, the consultants stated.

“Low-dose antibiotics should definitely not be the first line,” Eilber stated.

Besides methenamine, one other different is to take an antibiotic solely after intercourse. (Sexual exercise can encourage UTI-causing micro organism to transfer into the urethra, the tube that releases urine from the physique.)

For postmenopausal ladies, Eilber stated, vaginal estrogen could assist stop recurrent UTIs. After menopause, the vaginal tissue adjustments in ways in which could promote the expansion of “bad” micro organism.

Experts additionally usually advise some self-care steps that may assist, like ingesting loads of water, urinating earlier than and after intercourse, and wiping entrance to again after utilizing the toilet.

Many of the ladies within the present trial have been going by or previous menopause. But, Harding stated, his staff didn’t take a look at the consequences of remedy in accordance to age. North did the research embrace males. So it isn’t clear whether or not the findings would apply to older adults, one other group at elevated danger of recurrent UTI.

The research was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research.

More data

The US Office on Women’s Health has extra on urinary tract infections.

SOURCES: Chris Harding, MD, guide urological surgeon, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Karyn Eilber, MD, urologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; BMJMarch 9, 2022, on-line


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