Cochrane Summaries

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Antibiotic prophylaxis for short-term catheter bladder drainage in adults

Lusardi G, Lipp A, Shaw C
Published Online: 
3 July 2013

Catheters may be used to drain urine from the bladder in hospital for short periods of time (less than two weeks). This may cause a urinary infection, or an increase in the number of bacteria in the urine. The review found that people who had antibiotics before or during catheter use were less likely to have an infection, and less likely to have a large number of bacteria or pus cells in the urine. However, there was no evidence concerning the chance of allergic reactions or other side effects from the antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were identified in most studies but there was no definite link made to the use of antibiotics.