If you have ever had a constant urgency to pee, or a burning sensation when urinating, cramping in the lower stomach, pain around the pelvis or lower back, you will most likely have shared the pain felt by millions of people (mostly women) who have had a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives.
We mention “mostly women” as men have a lower risk of developing a urinary tract infection (also commonly known as cystitis) mainly for biological reasons.
A woman’s urethra is a lot shorter and closer to their anus than a man’s, making it easier for bacteria to be transferred.
The cause of urinary tract infections (UTI’s) is almost always a bacterium, and the most effective treatment for cystitis is a short course of antibiotics.
In this blog, we will be comparing the two most commonly prescribed antibiotics for UTI’s Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin, and seeing if one is any better than the other.
Nitrofurantoin isn’t suitable for those who:
Trimethoprim isn’t suitable for those who:
Doses are usually lower for elderly people and those with kidney problems.
It’s very important that you continue taking trimethoprim until your course is finished, even if you feel better, to help stop the infection coming back.
Previously Trimethoprim was recommended as first line treatment but increased resistance to its effectiveness has meant that Nitrofurantoin has become the preferred choice.
NICE (national institute of clinical excellence) have recommended that the first choice antibiotic for an uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI), is Nitrofurantoin if you are not suffering from poor kidney function, or alternatively Trimethoprim (if there is a low risk of resistance to it where you live).
Access Doctor goes with national guidelines and recommends Nitrofurantoin to women with confirmed UTI or cystitis, but if Trimethoprim is deemed to be more appropriate by our doctors, we will suggest changing over.
Our doctors will review your completed medical questionnaire for cystitis and decide which antibiotic is most appropriate for you.
We only treat women with typical symptoms of cystitis when there is no concern that the infection has extended beyond the bladder. This is defined as acute simple cystitis. When there is concern that the infection has spread we consider this to be a complicated UTI and needs referral to the GP urgently.