Ibuprofen Is Not the Best Treatment For Cystitis, New Study Finds

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oncludWith millions of women that develop UTIs, the problem of a more diverse treatment still stands. The usual treatment for cystitis is antibiotics, but many women were advised to take ibuprofen to ease the symptoms.

A new study found that in some cases, after an ibuprofen treatment without antibiotics, some women risk kidney infection and worse symptoms.

The study gathered data from almost 400 women, who randomly received either antibiotics or ibuprofen. The women treated with ibuprofen took one day longer to get better. 181 women received the over-the-counter drug. Seven of them developed a kidney infection, and five had to be hospitalized.

Ibuprofen Not Recommended in Treating Uncomplicated UTIs

Antibiotics can rapidly cut the infection and ease symptoms like pain, urge to urinate and fatigue. However, the NHS advises women to treat the symptoms with lots of water and ibuprofen.

The leader of the study, Ingvild Vik (University of Oslo) and the other authors argue that over half of the women that received ibuprofen cleared the symptoms of their UTIs without needing further treatment. However, they concluded that:

“Until we can identify those women in need of antibiotic treatment to prevent complications, we cannot recommend ibuprofen alone to women with uncomplicated UTIs.”

Previous studies claim that two-thirds of women that suffer from cystitis can recover without antibiotics, only by taking ibuprofen.

A week ago NICE stated that cranberry juice does not affect UTIs. They stated that only antibiotics work, but they should indeed be reduced.

The ‘Wait-and-See’ Strategy

This recent study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine. It concludes that “antibiotic treatment is the best treatment we have for uncomplicated UTI.”

However, the study admits that “a large amount of women did get well without antibiotic treatment, and we believe that for women with milder symptoms a wait-and-see strategy can be discussed.”

The authors and medics also recommend women with UTIs to drink many fluids and take antibiotics as soon as the symptoms worsen or if they don’t recover within a few days.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere

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