Importance: The use of nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin has increased since guidelines began recommending them as first-line therapy for lower urinary tract infection (UTI).
Objective: To compare the clinical and microbiologic efficacy of nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin in women with uncomplicated cystitis.
Design, setting, and participants: Multinational, open-label, analyst-blinded, randomized clinical trial including 513 nonpregnant women aged 18 years and older with symptoms of lower UTI (dysuria, urgency, frequency, or suprapubic tenderness), a positive urine dipstick result (with detection of nitrites or leukocyte esterase), and no known colonization or previous infection with uropathogens resistant to the study antibiotics. Recruitment took place from October 2013 through April 2017 at hospital units and outpatient clinics in Geneva, Switzerland; Lodz, Poland; and Petah-Tiqva, Israel.
Interventions: Participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to oral nitrofurantoin, 100 mg 3 times a day for 5 days (n = 255), or a single 3-g dose of oral fosfomycin (n = 258). They returned 14 and 28 days after therapy completion for clinical evaluation and urine culture collection.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was clinical response in the 28 days following therapy completion, defined as clinical resolution (complete resolution of symptoms and signs of UTI without prior failure), failure (need for additional or change in antibiotic treatment due to UTI or discontinuation due to lack of efficacy), or indeterminate (persistence of symptoms without objective evidence of infection). Secondary outcomes included bacteriologic response and incidence of adverse events.
Results: Among 513 patients who were randomized (median age, 44 years [interquartile range, 31-64]), 475 (93%) completed the trial and 377 (73%) had a confirmed positive baseline culture. Clinical resolution through day 28 was achieved in 171 of 244 patients (70%) receiving nitrofurantoin vs 139 of 241 patients (58%) receiving fosfomycin (difference, 12% [95% CI, 4%-21%]; P = .004). Microbiologic resolution occurred in 129 of 175 (74%) vs 103 of 163 (63%), respectively (difference, 11% [95% CI, 1%-20%]; P = .04). Adverse events were few and primarily gastrointestinal; the most common were nausea and diarrhea (7/248 [3%] and 3/248 [1%] in the nitrofurantoin group vs 5/247 [2%] and 5/247 [1%] in the fosfomycin group, respectively).
Conclusions and relevance: Among women with uncomplicated UTI, 5-day nitrofurantoin, compared with single-dose fosfomycin, resulted in a significantly greater likelihood of clinical and microbiologic resolution at 28 days after therapy completion.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01966653.