A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that ciprofloxacin (Cipro) more effectively treats bladder infections than amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin). Researchers randomly assigned 370 women with cystitis to receive a 3-day course of either Cipro or Augmentin. The infection was cured in 77% of the women in the Cipro group, compared with 58% of women in the Augmentin group. Even after the researchers analyzed the women infected with bacteria susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanate, they still found ciprofloxacin had a higher cure rate, due to its eradication of Escherichia coli bacteria from the vagina. When tested for vaginal E coli at the 2-week follow-up, 45% of the Augmentin group had E coli compared with 10% of the Cipro group. These results led the investigators to conclude that Augmentin should only be used as a treatment for cystitis when other first-and second-line antibiotics are not possible.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.