Cranberries, antibiotics or Chinese medicine to treat cystitis?

Author: John
Time: 2011/7/27 17:42:50

There is some evidence that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules may help reduce the chances of getting cystitis. We don’t know whether cranberry works as well as antibiotics. A new study set out to compare the two treatments, to see which worked best, and to examine what the effect was on antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Cranberries are a popular remedy for preventing cystitis. But do they work as well as taking antibiotics? A new study suggests not. If you get recurrent cystitis (more than three infections a year), your doctor may suggest you take continuous antibiotics to reduce the number of infections you get. Antibiotics worked better than cranberries for preventing bouts of cystitis.

Of the 221 women in the study, half took cranberry capsules and half took antibiotics every day for a year. Women who took cranberries had on average four bouts of cystitis, compared with two for women taking antibiotics.

Of the women taking cranberry capsules, 78 in 100 had at least one bout of cystitis, compared with 71 in 100 who took antibiotics.

However, women taking antibiotics were much more likely to test positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That meant the bacteria in their urine would no longer be treatable by certain types of antibiotic. This happened to 90 in 100 women who took antibiotics, compared with just 28 in 100 women who took cranberries.

The study was a randomised controlled trial, which is the best way to find out the effects of one or more treatments. The results should be reliable.

If you are prone to cystitis, the study shows that taking continuous daily antibiotics is likely to reduce the number of bouts you get. Antibiotics are likely to work better than cranberry products.

This is at the expense of making the bacteria in your urine resistant to antibiotics. However, three months after stopping antibiotics, women in the study had normal levels of antibiotic resistant bacteria, meaning that the effect wore off.

Many women are unhappy with taking antibiotics continually, either because of unwanted side effects, or the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to the drugs. So some women prefer the idea of taking a ‘natural’ remedy like cranberry to taking antibiotics. Though cranberry is totally safe, but its effects is doubtable.

The best treatment should be Chinese herbal medicine. It doesn't have side effects and can treat cystitis effectively.