Common Rx for UTIs in Older Women May Not Be Best Choice

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UTIs in Older Women
UTIs in Older Women

(HealthDay News) — Nitrofurantoin may not be the most effective option for treatment of urinary tract infections in older women, according to a new study published online April 27 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

The research was led by Amit Garg, MD, PhD, a nephrologist at Western University in London, Canada. His team compared the benefits of nitrofurantoin to the effectiveness of other commonly used antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and norfloxicin. The study involved 9,223 older women with impaired kidney function and 182,634 women with normal kidney function.

The researchers found that nitrofurantoin was less successful than other drugs in treating urinary tract infections among all of the women in the study – not just those with reduced kidney function. What's more, the results of the study suggest that use of nitrofurantoin for urinary tract infections among older women may boost the odds the patient will require a second round of treatment with another antibiotic or a trip to the hospital, the researchers said.

"In our setting, nitrofurantoin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for a urinary tract infection in older women irrespective of their kidney function," Garg said in a journal news release. "These patients had more treatment failures with nitrofurantoin compared with other antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin," he added. "However, this was evident regardless of a patient's level of kidney function."

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