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January 4, 1995

Randomized Comparative Trial and Cost Analysis of 3-Day Antimicrobial Regimens for Treatment of Acute Cystitis in Women

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. Drs Hooton and Stamm receive occasional speaking honoraria from Burroughs Wellcome Co, Research Triangle Park, NC, makers of Septra DS.

JAMA. 1995;273(1):41-45. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520250057034

Objective.  —To determine the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with four different 3-day regimens for the treatment of acute uncomplicated cystitis in women.

Design.  —A prospective randomized trial with a cost analysis.

Study Population.  —Women with acute cystitis attending a student health center.

Interventions.  —Treatment with 3-day oral regimens of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 160 mg/800 mg twice daily, macrocrystalline nitrofurantoin, 100 mg four times daily, cefadroxil, 500 mg twice daily, or amoxicillin, 500 mg three times daily.

Results.  —Six weeks after treatment, 32 (82%) of 39 women treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were cured compared with 22 (61%) of 36 treated with nitrofurantoin (P=.04 vs trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole),21 (66%) of 32 treated with cefadroxil (P=.11 vs trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), and 28 (67%) of 42 treated with amoxicillin (P=.11 vs trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole). Persistence of significant bacteriuria was less common with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (3%) and cefadroxil (0%) compared with nitrofurantoin (16%; P=.05 vs trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) and amoxicillin (14%; P=.11 vs trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole). Persistence of bacteriuria was associated with amoxicillin-resistant strains in the amoxicillin group but nitrofurantoin-susceptible strains in the nitrofurantoin group. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was more successful in eradicating Escherichia coli from rectal cultures soon after therapy and from urethral and vaginal cultures at all follow-up visits compared with the other treatment regimens. Adverse effects were reported by 16 (35%) of 46 patients receiving trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 18 (43%) of 42 receiving nitrofurantoin, 12 (30%) of 40 receiving cefadroxil, and 13 (25%) of 52 receiving amoxicillin. The mean costs per patient were less with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole ($114) and amoxicillin ($131) compared with nitrofurantoin ($155) and cefadroxil ($155).

Conclusions.  —A 3-day regimen of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is more effective and less expensive than 3-day regimens of nitrofurantoin, cefadroxil, or amoxicillin for treatment of uncomplicated cystitis in women. The increased efficacy of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is likely related to its antimicrobial effects against E coli in the rectum, urethra, and vagina.(JAMA. 1995;273:41-45)