One of the most common conditions in adult women is urinary tract infection and is currently treated with antibiotics. A commonly used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug and a herbal product may provide alternative options for treating it, say researchers.
With antibiotic resistance rising, reducing the use of antibiotics where possible is one of the top priorities among health professionals. To assess the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory drug and the herbal product called Uva ursi, the researchers from University of Southampton will study the response of these medications on 300 women with suspected cystitis (urinary tract infection).
"We are really excited to be getting started with this study which hopes to identify ways of relieving symptoms of urinary infection without the need to resort to antibiotics" lead researcher Michael Moore, professor at University of Southampton said in a statement released by the university.
Uva ursi, also known as bear berry or bear's grape, is a plant found in North America, Asia and northern Europe. The herbal product is extracted from the leaves of the Uva ursi plant and has reported diuretic, urinary antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Uva ursi has a traditional use dating back to the middle ages for many conditions including cystitis, urethritis and dysuria. However, the efficacy of Uva ursi treatment in humans remains unproven, despite long-term use in folk medicine.
The new clinical trial was developed to find out if either Uva ursi or a readily available anti-inflammatory drug can be used during a period of delayed antibiotic prescription to provide symptom relief. If so they would have the potential to change the way treatment is given and be used as an alternative to antibiotic prescribing.