NSAID diclofenac is inferior to antibiotic norfloxacin for lower UTI treatment

A study, published in The BMJ, examined whether symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is comparable to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection in women.

Researchers studied 253 women with uncomplicated lower UTI. The women were randomly assigned 1-to-1 to symptomatic treatment with the NSAID diclofenac or antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin. The randomized, double blind, non-inferiority trial was conducted in 17 general practices in Switzerland.

Fifty-four percent of the 133 women who received diclofenac and 80 percent of the 120 women who received 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.

The study also shows that 62 percent of women in the diclofenac group and 98 percent in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30. Additionally, six women in the diclofenac group, but none in the norfloxacin group, received a clinical diagnosis of pyelonephritis.

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