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Research Article

Different lengths of treatment with co-trimoxazole for acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women.

BMJ 1989; 299 doi: (Published 25 November 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;299:1319
  1. T. A. Trienekens,
  2. E. E. Stobberingh,
  3. R. A. Winkens,
  4. A. W. Houben
  1. Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--To compare three days' and seven days' treatment with co-trimoxazole in women with acute dysuria, strangury, and urinary frequency or urgency. DESIGN--Randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. SETTING--General practices in the south east of The Netherlands. PATIENTS--327 Non-pregnant female patients aged 12 to 65. INTERVENTION--161 Women were allocated to three days' treatment (co-trimoxazole 960 mg twice a day), and 166 women were allocated to seven days' treatment (co-trimoxazole 960 mg twice a day). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Resolution of symptoms at one, two, and six weeks. RESULTS--The rates for resolution of symptoms were not significantly different between the two groups. Cumulative rates of recurrence after three days' and seven days' treatment were 31/139 (22%) and 23/151 (15%) respectively six weeks after entry (p = 0.16). Adverse effects occurred in a quarter of women given three days' treatment compared with a third of women receiving seven days' treatment (p = 0.29). In only two patients did adverse effects necessitate stopping treatment. CONCLUSIONS--Three days of co-trimoxazole seems to be as effective as a seven days' course for treating acute urinary tract infection in non-pregnant women.