A common symptom related to urinary tract infections (UTIs) is pain. Even after the UTI is treated, some patients may still experience urinary pain and other problems known as interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome.
This condition may be caused by inflammation and the nerve-endings in the bladder become over-sensitive. Because there are several different types of bacteria that can cause this condition, it is hard to detect all of them. Therefore, recommendations for treatment are often bladder instillations, surgical interventions, and certain medications.
The research team led by Sheela Swamy analyzed case studies from 624 women who were treated for urinary tract infections.
Prior to treatment, patients suffered an average of six years and other treatments were unsuccessful in offering relief. The patients were treated with first-line, narrow spectrum oral antibiotics along with a urinary antiseptic. Once treatment was finished, patients were given antibiotics to be taken at home at the first sign of reemerging symptoms. This approach was to reduce the risk of a bacterial infection from forming as patients with urinary tract infections are less likely to be able to fight off bacterial infections.
The researchers found that antibiotic treatment was positively associated with a reduction in patient’s pain, urgency, frequency, and issues with emptying the bladder. There was also a decrease in white blood cells in the urine, which signifies inflammation in the bladder.
Overall, 64 percent of the women reported their symptoms improved with 20 percent of women reported their symptoms significantly improved.
Swamy concluded, “Oral antibiotics are an effective treatment for chronic urinary tract infections and support the idea that the symptoms are caused by bacterial infections. These results provide preliminary data to inform further randomized control trials.”