Pros and Cons of Suppressive Antibiotic Therapy in the Treatment of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in the Adult Female
Although both men and women have the potential to develop a urinary tract infection, numerically, women are more often affected. The reason for this seems to be multifactorial in nature. One reason may be due to the anatomical difference of the male and female urinary system. Any woman has a significant chance of suffering from at least one urinary tract infection (UTI); the quoted estimates vary widely (ACOG, 2008; Bosker et al., 2001; Bowen & Hellstrom, 2007; Rahn, 2008; Sadovsky, 2007; Stapleton & Stamm, 1997). These bothersome infections may become recurrent in as many as 20--40% of those suffering the first infection (ACOG, 2008; Barclay, 2008b; Bowen & Hellstrom, 2007; Foxman et al., 2000; Gupta & Stamm, 2005; Osborne, 2004; Rahn, 2008; Sadovsky, 2007; Stapleton & Stamm, 1997). Currently, the main treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections is the use of a suppressive dose of antibiotics which is given over an extended time. The typical period for use of suppressive antibiotic therapy is from 6-12 months, and often even longer. This study attempted to delineate the pros and cons of this treatment. A retrospective analysis of sixty-five medical records of patients meeting study criteria in a rural urology practice validated the positive effects of suppressive therapy.
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