Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common bacterial infection in women, characterised by dysuria and urinary frequency. Urinary alkalisers are widely used in some countries for the symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated UTI, and they are recommended in some national formularies. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support their use for UTI and some healthcare guidelines advise against their use.
We aimed to look at the benefits and harms of the use of urinary alkalisers for the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in adult women.
We searched the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Specialised Register to 19 January 2016 through contact with the Trials Search Co-ordinator using search terms relevant to this review.
All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs on the use of (any) urinary alkalisers (either exclusively or non-exclusively) for the symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated UTI amongst women aged 16 and over, were included. Studies were eligible if they included patients whose diagnosis of UTI was decided by symptoms alone, or positive urine dipstick test or urine culture; and patients with recurrent UTI, provided patients had no symptoms of UTI in the two weeks prior to the onset of symptoms that lead them to seek medical advice. Studies were ineligible if they studied patients with complicated UTIs; immune-compromising conditions; acute pyelonephritis; or chronic conditions such as interstitial cystitis.
Three authors independently assessed and screened papers, and this was repeated by two separate authors (independently). An additional investigator acted as arbitrator, where necessary. There were no papers which fulfilled the inclusion criteria for this review, and therefore no data extraction was performed.
Our search identified 172 potential studies for inclusion. However, following assessment none fulfilled the inclusion criteria for this review.
Until relevant evidence is generated from randomised trials, the safety and efficacy of urinary alkalisers for the symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated UTI remains unknown.