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Antibiotics may not be suitable treatment for some urinary tract infections

According to a recent study, taking antibiotics might not be the correct way of going about curing UTIs.

fitness Updated: Jun 04, 2017 17:25 IST
Asian News International
In some cases, antibiotic treatment can be harmful, especially for older adults.(Shutterstock)

Antibiotics may not be the appropriate treatment for some urinary tract infections or UTIs, a recent study has suggested.

In the research, Thomas E. Finucane of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore suggested that prescribing antibiotics for UTI may often be avoided among older adults. Firstly, UTI is a vague, overused diagnosis that may be applied to older adults who have no symptoms but may have bacteria in the urine and also may be experiencing confusion, falls, or other vague signs (including changes in the odour or colour of urine). In most cases, antibiotics do not benefit these older people.

Secondly, researchers are coming to a new understanding about the kinds of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that live in the human body naturally. It is now known that everyone’s urine contains bacteria and viruses and that, these microorganisms are usually helpful to overall well-being. Lastly, in some cases, antibiotic treatment can be harmful, especially for older adults.

Some groups of people do still benefit from antibiotic treatment of UTIs. These individual include the people who are sick enough to require urgent antibiotic treatment regardless of findings in the urine; people with invasive bacterial diseases, especially kidney infections; and pregnant women and people about to have bladder or urinary tract surgery.

Finucane noted that microbiome studies, which examine the benefits and harms cause by the billions of organisms that naturally live in the human body, suggest that UTI treatment with antibiotics actually may be more harmful than we previously thought.

If you think you have a UTI, or if you’re currently using an antibiotic to treat a UTI, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional first before changing your care plan. Your doctor, nurse, or other provider can work with you to find a treatment plan that’s best for you. The study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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First Published: Jun 04, 2017 17:25 IST