Long-term Antibiotic Treatment in Pouchitis - Patterns of Use and Safety

Nir Bar, Yoav Avraham, Vadim Dubinsky, Nathaniel A. Cohen, Guy A. Weiss, Lian Banon, Hagit Tulchinsky, Nitsan Maharshak, Uri Gophna, Iris Dotan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Pouchitis, often developing after colectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis, is highly responsive to antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin and/or metronidazole are commonly used, often for prolonged periods. We report patterns of antibiotic use, adverse events, and resistant infections in patients with pouchitis with long-term antibiotic treatment. Methods: In a cohort of patients following pouch surgery, a retrospective nested case-control analysis was performed between 2010 and 2017. Ultra-long-term use, defined as the top 10% of users, was compared with the remaining users. Patterns of antibiotic use, adverse events, and resistant infections were analyzed. Results: The cohort included 205 patients with UC, of whom 167 (81.5%) used antibiotics for pouchitis, predominantly ciprofloxacin. The long-term antibiotic use rate was 18% and 42% at 5 and 20 years postsurgery, respectively. Mean antibiotic use of at least 1, 3, and 6 months/year was noted in 54 (26.3%), 31 (15.1%), and 14 (6.8%) patients, respectively. Twenty-two (13.2%) and 4 (2.4%) patients reported mild and severe (transient) adverse events, respectively, without mortalities, tendinopathies or arrhythmias. Adverse event rates for ciprofloxacin and metronidazole were 1per 10,000 and 6 per 10,000 use-days, respectively. Longer, but not ultra-long antibiotic use, was associated with mild adverse events. There was no association between antibiotic use and resistant infections. Thirteen (6.3%) patients required ileostomy procedures - more commonly in the ultra-long-term antibiotic users. Conclusions: Patients with pouchitis may require prolonged antibiotic treatment, reflecting clinical benefit and favorable safety profile. Few adverse events and resistant infections were observed with long-term antibiotics use. However, resistant microbial strains selection, which are potentially transmittable, warrants consideration of different therapeutic alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1033
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • chronic antibiotic use
  • ciprofloxacin
  • metronidazole
  • pouchitis


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