Empiric versus culture-based antibiotic therapy for UTIs in menopausal women

Samuel B. Kusin, Ethan M. Fan, Bonnie C. Prokesch, Alana L. Christie, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the benefits and risks associated with empiric prescription of antibiotic therapy for treatment of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Methods: Following IRB approval menopausal women presenting with a symptomatic UTI to a single urology clinic were prospectively assigned to one of the two treatment groups based on day of presentation: culture-based treatment (CB) (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) or empiric treatment (ET) (Thursday, Friday) and started on nitrofurantoin (NF) pending culture results. Both groups were contacted at 7 and 14 days following treatment. Side effects and answers to a standardized questionnaire (UTISA) were recorded. Success was defined as a total UTISA score < 3. Any NF retreatment, use of another antibiotic therapy, or extension of the original antibiotic course was considered treatment failures. Results: From July 2020 to March 2022, 65 women with 80 UTI events were included in the study, with CB treatment used for 60 UTIs and ET used for 23 UTIs. At 7 days after start of treatment, questionnaire failure rate was 44% (20/45) for the CB group and 16% (3/19) for the ET group (P = 0.076). At 14 days following start of treatment, questionnaire failure rate was 31% (13/42) for the CB group and 17% (3/18) for the ET group (P = 0.3). In the ET group, 11% of cultures were found to be resistant to NF. Conclusion: Outcomes for the empiric treatment of uncomplicated UTI with NF at both 7 and 14 days are not significantly different than outcomes with culture-based treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-796
Number of pages6
JournalWorld journal of urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Antibiotic therapy
  • Culture-based therapy
  • Empiric therapy
  • Menopausal women
  • Urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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