UTIs can be prevented with an antiseptic drug

A coloured scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria on bladder cells in a urine sample from a patient with a urinary tract infection

A colored scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli (E. coli) micro organism on bladder cells in a urine pattern from a affected person with a urinary tract an infection


An antiseptic drug that inhibits the expansion of micro organism in urine could also be as efficient as antibiotics within the prevention of recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs).

“Over 50 per cent of women will suffer from a urinary tract infection in their lifetimes,” says Chris Harding at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Up to a 3rd of those girls expertise recurrent infections, he says, outlined as no less than three UTI episodes a 12 months.

UK tips advocate a each day low-dose antibiotic as a preventative remedy for recurrent UTIs. However, long-term use of those medication raises the danger of antibiotic resistance. Unlike antibiotics, which kill micro organism or stop them from spreading, methenamine hippurate sterilises urine, inhibiting the expansion of sure micro organism. The antiseptic has proven promise for UTI prevention, however the proof is inconclusive.

To study extra, Harding and his colleagues studied 205 girls who had on common six UTIs a 12 months. Every day for 12 months, 102 of the contributors took an antibiotic, whereas the remaining 103 got a methenamine hippurate tablet.

Over the 12 months, these within the antibiotic group had on common 0.89 UTI episodes, in contrast with 1.38 episodes amongst these taking methenamine hippurate.

“There was basically no difference in outcomes between the two methods,” says Harding. “If we want to reduce the use of antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance, then trials like this provide clinicians and patients a credible non-antibiotic option for prevention.”

However, the long-term security of methenamine hippurate is unclear. Four of the contributors who took it each day have been admitted to hospital because of a UTI, and 6 of the identical group reported a fever throughout an an infection. Overall, 34 folks within the antibiotic group and and 35 within the antiseptic group had uncomfortable side effects, most of which have been gentle.

The research was additionally not blinded, so the contributors and researchers have been conscious of the therapy obtained. Different antibiotics have been additionally prescribed in keeping with every particular person’s medical historical past, which can have affected the outcomes.

Nevertheless, rising issues round antibiotic resistance might make methenamine hippurate a viable preventative choice if future analysis helps its use, a group of Australian researchers stated in an editorial linked to the research.

“Hundreds of thousands of people get UTIs every year,” says Jennifer Rohn at University College London. “So it is a serious pressure point on the antimicrobial resistance crisis because so many antibiotic prescriptions are prescribed… so anything that can knock down the number of prescriptions is a good thing.”

Journal reference: The BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmj-2021-068229

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