Optimal duration of antibiotic therapy for uncomplicated urinary tract infection in older women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Vogel, Thomas; Verreault, René; Gourdeau, Marie; Morin, Michéle; Grenier-Gosselin, Lise; Rochette, Louis
February 2004
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;2/17/2004, Vol. 170 Issue 4, p469
Academic Journal
Background: The optimal duration of antibiotic therapy in older patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) is still a matter of debate. The aim of this randomized controlled double-blind noninferiority trial was to compare the efficacy and safety of 3-day and 7-day courses of oral ciprofloxacin for uncomplicated symptomatic UTI in older women. Methods: A total of 183 women at least 65 years of age with acute uncomplicated UTI were recruited from ambulatory clinics and hospital acute care units. Patients with pyelonephritis, contraindications to fluoroquinolones, recent use of antibiotics, urinary tract abnormalities and diabetes mellitus were excluded. Women were randomly assigned to receive either ciprofloxacin 250 mg twice daily orally for 3 days followed by placebo for 4 days (the 3-day group, 93 patients) or ciprofloxacin 250 mg twice daily orally for 7 days (the 7-day group, 90 patients). Bacterial eradication, clinical improvement and occurrence of adverse events were determined 2 days after completion of treatment, and occurrence of reinfection or relapse were determined 6 weeks after completion of treatment. Bacterial eradication and relapse were determined by urine culture. Double-blind procedures were maintained throughout data collection. Results: The proportion of patients with bacterial eradication at 2 days after treatment was 98% (91/93) in the 3-day group and 93% (83/89) in the 7-day group ( p = 0.16). The frequency of adverse events, including drowsiness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and loss of appetite, was significantly lower in the 3-day group. Interpretation: These results suggest that a 3-day course of antibiotic therapy is not inferior to a 7-day course for treatment of uncomplicated symptomatic UTI in older women, and that the shorter course is better tolerated.


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