PURPOSE: We performed a meta-analysis to ascertain the efficacy and safety of the currently practiced 3-day antibiotic therapy for cystitis versus prolonged therapy (5 days or longer) to relieve symptoms and to achieve bacteriological cure. METHODS: The Cochrane Library, the Cochrane Renal Group's Register of trials, EMBASE and MEDLINE were searched to identify all randomized controlled trials comparing 3-day oral antibiotic therapy with prolonged therapy (5 days and longer) for uncomplicated cystitis in adult non-pregnant women. Two reviewers independently applied selection criteria, performed quality assessment, and extracted data. Relative risks (RR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated; a fixed effect model was used. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed whenever possible. RESULTS: Thirty-two trials and 9605 patients met inclusion criteria. For symptomatic failure rates no difference between 3-day and prolonged antibiotic regimens was found at short term (RR 1.16, 95% CI: 0.96-1.41) and long-term follow-up (RR 1.17, 95% CI: 0.99-1.38). Three-day treatment was less effective than prolonged therapy in preventing bacteriological failure, relative risk 1.37 (95% CI: 1.07-1.74) for short-term follow-up, and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.22-1.77) for long-term follow-up. Adverse effects were more common in the prolonged therapy group (RR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.79-0.91). The results were consistent for subgroup and sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSION: Antibiotic therapy for 3 days is similar to prolonged therapy in achieving symptomatic cure for cystitis, while the prolonged treatment is more effective in obtaining bacteriological cure.
- Antibiotic treatment
- Duration of treatment