Fosfomycin versus other antibiotics for the treatment of cystitis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

M.E. Falagas, E.K. Vouloumanou, A.G. Togias, M. Karadima, A.M. Kapaskelis, P.I. Rafailidis, S. Athanasiou

Background: Cystitis is a common infection. The alarmingly high resistance rates exhibited by contemporary uropathogens necessitate the reevaluation of old antibiotics. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of fosfomycin compared with other antibiotics for the treatment of patients with cystitis.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), generated from searches performed in PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane CENTRAL, which involved patients with cystitis treated with fosfomycin versus other antibiotics.

Results: Twenty-seven trials (eight double-blind) were included. Sixteen of these 27 trials involved exclusively non-pregnant female patients, 3 involved adult mixed populations of older age, 5 involved pregnant patients and 3 involved paediatric patients. Regarding clinical success, no difference was found in the comprehensive analysis regarding all comparators combined [10 RCTs, 1657 patients, risk ratio (RR)¼1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI)¼0.98–1.03] in trials involving non-pregnant females and in trials involving mixed populations. Insufficient relevant data were provided from trials involving paediatric and pregnant patients. No difference between fosfomycin and comparators was also found in all comparisons regarding the remaining effectiveness outcomes (namely microbiological success/relapse/re-infection). Fosfomycin had a comparable safety profile with the evaluated comparators in non-pregnant women, mixed and paediatric populations, whereas it was associated with significantly fewer adverse events in pregnant women (4 RCTs, 507 patients, RR¼0.35, 95% CI¼0.12–0.97).

Conclusions: In the era of high drug resistance rates, reported even among community-acquired uropathogens, fosfomycin may provide a valuable alternative option for the treatment of cystitis in non-pregnant and pregnant women and in elderly and paediatric patients.

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