UTI Antibiotic Treatment: ‘Shorter is Better’


A clinician talks about reducing antibiotic treatment duration for urinary tract infections (UTI).

Laila Woc-Colburn, MD, associate professor, Emory University School of Medicine, points out 2 existing issues around treating UTIs: overtreatment which has led to resistance and duration of treatment.

Her latter point is one of the emerging treatment patterns in looking at opportunities to decrease antibiotic duration for infections. “The treatment that used to be 10-14 days has come down to 3-5 days,” Woc-Colburn said for UTIs. “And antibiotics like fosfomycin, given once, stays in the system for 72 hours. You are looking at short, not complicated regimens that are going to help you decrease the pressure for gram-negative bacteria resistance.”

Woc-Colburn presented a scientific session, Urine Trouble: What's New in Treating Urinary Tract Infections? at this year’s ACP conference.

She also mentions the challenging pipeline for UTI therapies in development. “We will have a narrow pipeline that more geared towards gram-negative, multidrug-resistant bacteria,” Woc-Colburn explained.

As such, she believes clinicians and patients would be best served using antibiotics judiciously and determining when to treat and for how long.

Contagion spoke to Woc-Colburn who offered insights on decreasing antibiotic duration, investigational therapies for UTIs, considerations for clinical guidance, and treatment strategies to change the vaginal microbiome.

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