A randomized trial of short-course ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for the treatment of acute urinary tract infection in women. Ciprofloxacin Urinary Tract Infection Group

Am J Med. 1999 Mar;106(3):292-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(99)00026-1.


Purpose: Bladder infections are very common in otherwise healthy women, and short-course antimicrobial treatment appears effective for many episodes of cystitis. This study reports the results of short-course ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole therapy.

Patients and methods: We performed a randomized, double-blind study of the efficacy and safety of a 3-day course of oral ciprofloxacin 100 mg twice daily, ofloxacin 200 mg twice daily, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole 160/800 mg twice daily in women with acute, uncomplicated, symptomatic lower urinary tract infection.

Results: A total of 866 patients were enrolled, of whom 688 (79%) were evaluated for the efficacy of treatment (229 treated with ciprofloxacin, 228 treated with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and 231 treated with ofloxacin). The most frequent reason for exclusion was the failure to identify a pretreatment pathogen. The most commonly isolated pathogen was Escherichia coli (81%). Eradication of the pretreatment pathogen at the end of therapy occurred in 94% of ciprofloxacin, 93% of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and 97% of ofloxacin-treated patients. At follow-up evaluation at 4 to 6 weeks, recurrence rates (relapse or reinfection) were 11% in the ciprofloxacin, 16% in the trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and 13% in the ofloxacin treatment group. Clinical success at the end of therapy was 93% in the ciprofloxacin, 95% in the trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and 96% in the ofloxacin treatment groups. The frequency of all adverse events was 31% for ciprofloxacin, 41% for trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and 39% for ofloxacin-treated patients (P = 0.03). Premature discontinuation of study drug due to an adverse event was more common in trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole-treated patients (n = 9) compared with those given ciprofloxacin (n = 2) or ofloxacin (n = 1; P = 0.02).

Conclusion: Ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole had similar efficacy when given for 3 days to treat acute, symptomatic, uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection in women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / adverse effects
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / therapeutic use*
  • Ciprofloxacin / adverse effects
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ofloxacin / adverse effects
  • Ofloxacin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / adverse effects
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Ofloxacin