BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 29;21(1):619. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06323-0.
BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend empiric antibiotics as first-line treatment for uncomplicated UTI. Despite proven benefits in treatment, antibiotic resistance rates remain on the rise. This meta-analysis aims to determine whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can serve as an effective and safe option in the treatment of uncomplicated lower UTI among non-pregnant women compared to antibiotics.
METHODS: A systematic literature search in PUBMED, CENTRAL, and ACP databases from inception to April 2021 was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials that compare the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs versus antibiotics in non-pregnant women ≥18 years old with uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection. Primary outcomes were symptom resolution of UTI by Day 3 or 4 of intervention, and upper UTI complications. Secondary outcomes include persistence of positive urine culture despite treatment and need for another rescue antibiotic. Random and fixed-effects model for dichotomous data using Mantel-Haenszel and Peto odds method were reported at 95% CI followed by sensitivity analysis for substantial heterogeneity.
RESULTS: Four RCTs involving 1165 patients were analyzed. The probability of having a symptom resolution by Day 3 or 4 with NSAID use is only less than three-fourths of that with antibiotic treatment (RR: 0.69, 95% CIs [0.55, 0.86], p = 0.0008, I2 = 73%, moderate certainty of evidence). The odds of developing upper UTI complications with use of NSAIDs are 6.49 to 1 for antibiotics (Peto OR: 6.49, 95% CIs [3.02, 13.92], p < 0.00001, I2 = 0%, moderate certainty of evidence). Secondary analysis showed that the NSAID group is 2.77x more likely to have persistence of a positive microbiologic urine culture than the antibiotic group (RR: 2.77, 95% CIs [1.95, 3.94], p < 0.00001, I2 = 36%, moderate certainty of evidence). Treatment with NSAIDs are three times more likely to use a secondary or rescue antibiotic due to persistent or worsening symptoms as compared to antibiotics (RR: 3.16, 95% CIs [2.24, 4.44], p < 0.00001, I2 = 47%, low certainty of evidence).
CONCLUSION: Antibiotic treatment was more effective than use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for acute uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection with an overall moderate certainty of evidence.