Urinary tract infection is a common infection and its prevalence is seen more in women than men. Almost 50 to 80% of women develop UTI at least once in their lifetime. Urine culture and its sensitivity testing are considered the standard diagnostic tool for UTI. The emergence of antibiotic resistance makes it a huge challenge to select the right antimicrobial treatment for UTI that would serve as the best therapeutic agent to treat patients effectively.
We conducted an in-app survey on the WhiteCoats app to determine the drug prescribing patterns followed by the doctors while managing patients with urinary tract infections.
142 doctors responded to the survey which consisted of general practitioners (57.04%), obstetricians/gynaecologists (24.65%), paediatricians (11.97%), and internists (6.34%).
The survey found that 72.54% of doctors prescribe monotherapy to their patients suffering from UTI. Around 13.38% of doctors prescribe drugs in combination to treat UTI patients, while 14.08% of doctors stated that they prescribed either monotherapy or combination therapy.
A majority of physicians prescribed nitrofurantoin (31.69%), followed by fluoroquinolones (27.46) and cephalosporins (9.15%) as first-line treatment for UTI.
Cephalosporins (40.14%) and fluoroquinolones (29.58%) were greatly utilized as second-line choices of drugs. Additionally, 3.52% of doctors mentioned that they prescribed drugs based on culture sensitivity reports.
85.21% of physicians preferred the oral route, followed by either oral or parenteral (12.68%) or only parenteral (2.11%).
Almost 42.96% of doctors prescribed prophylactic therapy to patients having recurrent UTIs, on urinary catheters, who have undergone renal transplant or has had a spinal cord injury. 28.87% of physicians treated patients prophylactically for recurrent UTIs and 9.86% for patients with urinary catheters.
UTIs being common infections require an antibiotic prescription, but at the same time, they need to be used in the appropriate way to reduce antibiotic resistance. Appropriate antibiotic use ensures effective treatment outcomes and decreases the length of hospital stay.
It is important to regularly monitor antibiotic sensitivity for the proper management of UTI and to reduce therapeutic failures.
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