Should I take long term antibiotics?

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Hello. I was told by urologist last week that I have something called cystitis cystica. The advice to my GP is long term antibiotics and short term oestragen for a slight prolapse that is not helping the almost continual uti's. I feel ,caught between a rock and a hard place, desperate to get rid of these debilitating infections but anxious about side effects of long term antibiotics. I am on my third course of nitrofurantoin in 6 weeks and while it seems to work the literature for long term use is worrying. I drink masses of water and have just ordered cannot to see if that will help. I would really appreciate any thoughts and shared experiences please.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, my thoughts are that any antibiotic taken over a long period can be damaging and I have heard many on this site say Nitrofurantoin hasn't done them much good in the long term. 

    Have you seen a site called Cystitis and Overactive bladder foundation?  They are specially there to help with chronic problems, so you may get more advice from them.

    Be very wary if your doctor prescribes an antibiotic called ciprofloxacin - long term use of this one can cause seriously damaging (and permanent) effects.

    Good luck!

  • Posted

    Nannylynne you should really discuss your concerns with your GP or your urologist after all he is the expert. If you contact his secretary expressing your concerns he may speak to you on the telephone or offer you an appointment. If you stopped the treatment without discussing it with either him or your GP he may not be too impressed. 

    I have discussed the prescribing of antibiotics with a friend who is a GP because there has been discussion around whether they fully understand the implications of long term antibiotic prescribing and some may not be aware of possible long term side effects. She explained now that GP surgeries are computerised more commonly with the same system if an antibiotic or any other drug is typed into the computer in preparation for a prescription to be issued an alert flashes onto the screen with a warning of any issues so even if a GP wasn't aware before he would be prior to the prescription being printed off. All GP surgeries have a names pharmacist who's responsibility it is to monitor all prescribing  and particularly where there have been concerns such as with Ciprofloxacin and she assured me it's always done in the best interests of the patient. 

    I have been prescribed Nitrofurantoin on a few occasions and I've found it successfully cleared my UTI but I fully understand everyone is different.

    Remember Nannylynne your urologist is the expert not us advising you on this forum so get professional advice.

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you're having so many difficulties. I agree with Matron though, keep taking your antibiotics, although long term use isn't great I'm sure your urologist has outweighed the risk of this.

    The good thing is nitrofurantoin doesn't tend to hang around anywhere else and aims to treat your bladder only. So this drug is least likely to cause any harm to your gut.

    Other antibiotics can cause quite severe damage long term, I was on a lot of different broad spectrum antibiotics for a continuous period of 4 months and bc they caused an imbalance of bacteria in my stomach I ended up seriously ill with clostridium difficile. I don't tell you this to scare you, but the good news is that you're least likely to have any problems with the drug your on. What I will say is that if they do decide to change your antibiotic in the future, take probiotics with them. So that way you can hopefully keep the bacteria in check.

    I hope you get everything sorted soon, and like matron said, your urologist /gp are the experts and they truly will have your best interests at heart. Feel better soon 💜

  • Posted

    Hi I was it for more than a year and a urologist said it was not a good antibiotic for long term use. So it may be better to change it. I have been stuck on antibiotics for nearly 2 years because of kidney infections. Sometimes urologists don't even have answers. Good luck

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