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Drug Pair Lowers Children's Urinary Infections Up To 80 Percent

Update Date: May 05, 2014 11:52 AM EDT

Using a drug combination in long-term reduces the risk of recurrent urinary tract infection by up to 80 percent in children with the urinary condition vesicoureteral reflux compared to placebo, according to a new research.

In vesicoureteral reflex (VUR), developmental abnormalities in one or both ureters allow urine to flow back from the bladder into the ureters or at worst in kidneys. 

According to reports, VUR is found in 30-40 percent of children who have had a UTI. It is also considered as one of the most common urinary tract problems in children.

Researchers found that the risk of recurrent infection was cut by 50 percent in children with VUR using the drug combination trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ). The largest reduction (80 percent) was seen in children with VUR and bladder and bowel dysfunction. 

"We are looking deeper into the data from the RIVUR trial to gain further insight into other factors that may reduce susceptibility to recurrent infections and scarring," said Dr. Marva Moxey-Mims, a pediatric kidney specialist at the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the study's primary funder in the press release. "In the meantime, we can buy children some time with fewer infections, allowing many of them to outgrow reflux as their bodies develop and mature."

However the findings were not valid on the number of children who had developed kidney scarring. Researchers suspected the cause to be parents' heightened vigilance for UTI symptoms and early treatment in the trial. 

"We also saw some increased antimicrobial resistance, which researchers are looking at more closely," Moxey-Mims added. "However, until we have those results, the use of these drugs appears to provide more benefit than risk in these children."

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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