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

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Tommaso Cai *
Irene Tamanini
Ekaterina Kulchavenya
Tamara Perepanova
Béla Köves
Florian M.E. Wagenlehner
Zafer Tandogdu
Gernot Bonkat
Riccardo Bartoletti
Truls E. Bjerklund Johansen
(*) Corresponding Author:
Tommaso Cai | ktommy@libero.it

Abstract

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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