Efficacy and safety of self-start therapy in women with recurrent urinary tract infections

Anthony J. Schaeffer*, Barbara A. Stuppy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the efficacy of self-start therapy in women with recurrent urinary tract infections. Materials and Methods: Women with recurrent urinary tract infections received a dip slide urine culture kit and 6 tablets of norfloxacin (400 mg.). At each symptomatic urinary tract infection episode the patient performed a culture and initiated therapy. The culture was returned and the patient was resupplied with another kit and norfloxacin. Patients were seen 5 to 9 days and 4 to 6 weeks after therapy to assess treatment outcome. Results: A total of 34 women were enrolled in the study and were evaluable for treatment outcomes. Six women followed for 74 months were asymptomatic and 9 followed for 103 months had no infections. A total of 28 women followed for 355 months had 84 symptomatic episodes and 25 had 67 urinary tract infections. Patients had symptomatic episodes at a rate of 2.8 per patient-year (range 0 to 9) and infections at a rate of 2.3 per patient-year (range 0 to 9). The greatest risk of symptoms of infection or infection occurred in the first 3 months and among patients with a higher rate of infection before entering the study. Of the 84 symptomatic episodes 78 (92%) responded clinically. Of 78 cultured episodes 11 (14%) were negative. The remaining 67 cultured documented infections were cured microbiologically 5 to 7 days after therapy. No adverse effects occurred. The annual cost unaccompanied by a symptomatic episode was $86 and $259 if symptomatic episodes occurred. Conclusions: Intermittent self-start therapy is effective, safe and economical in women with recurrent urinary tract infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-211
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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