Pharmacological Agents to Decrease New Episodes of Recurrent Lower Urinary Tract Infections in Postmenopausal Women. A Systematic Review

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate and summarize pharmacological interventions evaluated in randomized clinical trials designed to prevent recurrent episodes of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in postmenopausal women.

METHODS: Excerpta Medica dataBASE, Pubmed, Medline, and Cochrane Library were accessed to search for nonexperimental drugs evaluated in randomized clinical trials published in peer reviewed journals from January 1, 1970, to August 1, 2015, to reduce the number of recurrent UTIs in postmenopausal women.

RESULTS: A systematic search yielded 9 articles that met eligibility criteria. Five articles involved the use of systemic or vaginal estrogen therapy and the remainder used oral antibiotics, lactobacilli, or a combination of interventions. Antibiotics were the most efficacious therapy but with a higher incidence of systemic side effects. Oral lactobacillus was noninferior to sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim with a safer profile in 1 small study. Vaginal estrogen appeared to be inferior to continuous oral antibiotic suppression; however, use of multiple formulations of both treatment options precludes meta-analysis. Oral estrogen use did not decrease UTI recurrence and resulted in local and systemic side effects in up to nearly 30% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This review supports the use of antibiotic suppression, vaginal estrogen, and oral lactobacillus for prevention of recurrent UTIs in postmenopausal women. However, the overall dearth of data suggests that this is an important but understudied population. Because the effectiveness and safety of available treatments are not well understood, they should be used with caution in older populations, pending further study.

DOI of Published Version



Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2016 Mar-Apr;22(2):63-9. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000244. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID