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PJ Online | News: Short antibiotic courses can treat children’s urinary tract infections

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 269 No 7212 p241
24 August 2002

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Archives of Disease in Childhood article (more)


Short antibiotic courses can treat children’s urinary tract infections

A course of oral antibiotics lasting two to four days is just as effective at eradicating urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children as standard treatment over seven to 14 days, a new study shows (Archives of Disease in Childhood 2002;87:118).

Australian researchers analysed data from 10 randomised controlled trials. They found there was no difference in the frequency of positive urine cultures or in the number of recurrent UTIs among children who had received a standard course of antibiotics lasting one to two weeks and those who had received only two to four days of treatment. In addition, there was no difference in the development of resistant organisms in the two treatment groups. The researchers say that statistical imprecision in the study means it does not provide incontrovertible evidence that short duration therapy is better. However, they suggest this imprecision is of doubtful clinical significance for children at low risk of persistent UTI following standard treatment. They recommend that clinicians decide on what duration of antibiotic treatment to use based on this risk, which is low (1?3 per cent) among children with their first UTI, but is higher (up to 14 per cent) among children who have recurrent UTIs.

The researchers conclude that short duration treatment would be a reasonable option for children at low risk of persistent infection.

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