FRIDAY, March 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Girls tormented by frequent urinary tract infections typically take day by day antibiotics to ward them off. However an previous antibiotic various would possibly work simply as nicely, a brand new scientific trial finds.
Researchers discovered that the medicine, known as methenamine, was comparable to straightforward, low-dose antibiotics in stopping girls’s recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Both remedy curbed the infections to round one per yr, on common.
Methenamine is a long-established medicine that works by making the urine extra acidic and stopping bacterial development. Research have proven that it may possibly stop recurrent UTIs, nevertheless it’s not extensively used.
It is such an “previous” drug, many docs as we speak have no idea about it, stated Dr. Karyn Eilber, a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Heart in Los Angeles.
Eilber, who was not concerned within the new examine, stated she reserves day by day antibiotics as a final resort for stopping recurrent UTIs, favoring methenamine as a substitute.
A priority with day by day antibiotic use is feeding antibiotic resistance, the place micro organism study to thwart the drugs used to kill them. Plus, Eilber stated, it disrupts the physique’s regular bacterial stability.
Dr. Chris Harding, a advisor urological surgeon at Freeman Hospital in the UK, led the trial.
He stated it “provides supportive proof for the usage of methenamine and can be notably welcome to these girls with recurrent UTI who wish to keep away from long-term antibiotic remedy.”
UTIs are exceedingly widespread and might have an effect on anybody, however are notably prevalent amongst girls. Research recommend as much as 80% of girls develop a UTI sooner or later, and about one-quarter of these girls go on to have frequent recurrences.
Some signs embrace burning throughout urination, and feeling a robust, persistent urge to urinate.
The brand new examine — revealed on-line March 9 within theBMJ— concerned 240 girls with recurring UTIs. Firstly, they had been averaging round six UTIs per yr.
Half of the ladies had been randomly assigned to day by day low-dose antibiotic remedy, whereas the opposite half took methenamine twice a day.
Over one yr of remedy, each teams noticed a major decline in UTI episodes. Girls within the antibiotic group averaged slightly below one bout per individual for the yr, whereas these taking methenamine had simply over one episode per individual.
That could be a small distinction, Harding stated, and one which, based mostly on affected person focus teams, wouldn’t be thought-about “clinically significant.”
As for uncomfortable side effects, a small variety of girls in every group reported issues like nausea, stomach ache and diarrhea. Six girls developed a UTI with fever, and 4 wanted to be hospitalized — all of whom had been within the methenamine group.
Whether or not treating extra UTIs with methenamine will assist battle the issue of antibiotic resistance is an open query. Throughout the one yr of remedy on this trial, girls on antibiotics had been extra prone to harbor micro organism immune to not less than one antibiotic. However that modified when their micro organism had been sampled six months later: Those that had taken methenamine had extra antibiotic-resistant bugs.
Harding stated that discovering “needs to be interpreted with warning,” because the trial was not primarily aimed toward gauging antibiotic resistance.
“Additional analysis is certainly indicated on this space,” he stated.
For now, girls ought to know there are alternatives for stopping frequent UTIs, the consultants stated.
“Low-dose antibiotics ought to undoubtedly not be the primary line,” Eilber stated.
Apart from methenamine, one other various is to take an antibiotic solely after intercourse. (Sexual exercise can encourage UTI-causing micro organism to maneuver into the urethra, the tube that releases urine from the physique.)
For postmenopausal girls, Eilber stated, vaginal estrogen might assist stop recurrent UTIs. After menopause, the vaginal tissue adjustments in ways in which might foster the expansion of “unhealthy” micro organism.
Specialists 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.
Lots of the girls within the present trial had been going by or previous menopause. However, Harding stated, his group didn’t take a look at the consequences of remedy in accordance with age. Nor did the examine embrace males. So it is not clear whether or not the findings would apply to older adults, one other group at elevated danger of recurrent UTI.
The examine was funded by the U.Okay. Nationwide Institute for Well being Analysis.
The U.S. Workplace on Girls’s Well being has extra on urinary tract infections.
SOURCES: Chris Harding, MD, advisor urological surgeon, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.Okay.; Karyn Eilber, MD, urologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Heart, Los Angeles; BMJ, March 9, 2022, on-line