The role of nutraceuticals and phytotherapy in the management of urinary tract infections: What we need to know?

  • Tommaso Cai | Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento, Italy.
  • Irene Tamanini Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento, Italy.
  • Ekaterina Kulchavenya TB Research Institute, Medical University, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation.
  • Tamara Perepanova N. Lopatkin Scientific Research Institute of Urology and Interventional Radiology - branch of the National Medical Research Radiological Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Russian Federation.
  • Béla Köves Jahn Ferenc South Pest Teaching Hospital, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Florian M.E. Wagenlehner Klinik und Poliklinik für Urologie, Kinderurologie und Andrologie, Universitätsklinikum Giessen und Marburg GmbH, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany.
  • Zafer Tandogdu Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU Newcastle upon-Tyne, United Kingdom.
  • Gernot Bonkat Alta uro AG, Merian Iselin Klinik, Center of Biomechanics & Calorimetry (COB), University Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Riccardo Bartoletti Department Translational Research and New Technologies, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • Truls E. Bjerklund Johansen Oslo University Hospital and Univeristy of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are amongst the most common infectious diseases and carry a significant impact on patient quality of life and health care costs. Despite that, there is no well-established recommendation for a “standard” prophylactic antibiotic management to prevent UTI recurrences. The majority of patients undergoes long-term antibiotic treatment that severely impairs the normal microbiota and increases the risk of development of multidrugresistant microorganisms. In this scenario, the use of phytotherapy to both alleviate symptoms related to UTI and decrease the rate of symptomatic recurrences is an attractive alternative. Several recently published papers report conflicting findings and cannot give confident recommendations for the everyday clinical practice. A new approach to the management of patients with recurrent UTI might be to use nutraceuticals or phytotherapy after an accurate assessment of the patient`s risk factors. No single compound or mixture has been identified so far as the best preventive approach in patients with recurrent UTI. We reviewed our non-antibiotic approach to the management of recurrent UTI patients in order to clarify the evidence-base for the commonly used substances, understand their pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in order to tailor the best way to improve patient’s quality of life and reduce the rate of antibiotic resistance. Lack of a gold-standard recommendation and the risk of increasing antibiotic resistance is the reason why we need alternatives to antibiotics in the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs). A tailored approach according to bacterial characteristics and the patient risk factors profile is a promising option.



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Original Papers - Incontinence & Urodynamics
Nutraceuticals, Phytotherapy, Urinary tract infections
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How to Cite
Cai, T., Tamanini, I., Kulchavenya, E., Perepanova, T., Köves, B., Wagenlehner, F. M., Tandogdu, Z., Bonkat, G., Bartoletti, R., & Bjerklund Johansen, T. E. (2017). The role of nutraceuticals and phytotherapy in the management of urinary tract infections: What we need to know?. Archivio Italiano Di Urologia E Andrologia, 89(1), 1-6.

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