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Diseases & Conditions
Less may be more when treating urinary tract infections
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
In the journals
A shorter duration of antibiotics may be better when treating urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to a study published online July 27, 2021, by JAMA. The randomized study involved two groups of men with UTI symptoms (average age 69). Half of the men took antibiotics for 14 days, while the other half took them for seven days.
Both durations had similar outcomes. The seven-day treatment had an average 92.5% success rate, while the 14-day treatment had an average 90.3% rate. Both groups also had a similar percentage of UTI recurrence (9.9% for the seven-day treatment and 12.9% for the 14-day treatment). Participants taking the shorter course reported fewer medication side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea.
According to the researchers, a shorter duration of antibiotics may have other advantages that the study did not explore. For instance, it can make medication easier to manage, reduce out-of-pocket costs, and possibly help lower antibiotic resistance.
Image: Nenad Cavoski/Getty Images
About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
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