New research has questioned the use of antibiotics for children with urinary tract infections.
The research suggests that giving children antibiotics to prevent the return of repeated urinary tract infections does not work and in fact only serves to encourage infections that are resistant to the drugs.
Experts say as many as 180,000 children in the U.S. will have had a urinary tract infection by the time they reach age 6 and preventive daily use of antimicrobials is often recommended in cases of repeated infections.
This is especially so where tests indicate they have a backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureter, which connects to the kidneys and this occurs in 40% of cases.
Dr. Patrick Conway formerly of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and his team found that daily antibiotic treatment did not decrease the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections and was in fact associated with an increased risk of resistant infections.
This in turn made the infection harder to treat.
Their research was based on the medical records of nearly 700 children over a period between July 2001 and May 2006 and the researchers concluded that doctors should discuss the risks and unclear benefits of antibiotics for recurring urinary tract infections, as exposure to antibiotics significantly increased the likelihood of resistant infections.
The study is published in the current issue of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.