Antibiotic treatment more effective than NSAIDs for UTI symptom relief

A study, published in The BMJ, examined whether antibiotics are inferior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs when treating uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections.

Researchers included 253 Swiss women with uncomplicated lower UTIs in the study. They randomly assigned 133 women to receive symptomatic treatment with the diclofenac, an NSAID, and 120 women received antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin. The primary outcome was symptom resolution at day three.

The study shows 54 percent of women assigned to diclofenac and 80 percent assigned to norfloxacin experienced symptom resolution at day three. The median time until resolution of symptoms was four days in the diclofenac group and two days in the norfloxacin group. Additionally, 62 percent women in the diclofenac group and 98 percent in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30.

Thus, diclofenac is inferior to norfloxacin in reducing UTI symptoms, "even though it reduces antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated lower UTI," study authors concluded.

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