MILLIONS of women are wrongly taking ibuprofen for urinary tract infections and it could make it worse, experts warned.
The common painkiller could prolong the infection by three days and risks it developing into a kidney infection, a Norwegian study has found.
Alamy Ibuprofen may ease the pain of a urinary tract infection but it does not help clear it up
Experts surveyed almost 400 women and found those given ibuprofen took longer to get better than those prescribed antibiotics.
By day four of the urinary tract infection (UTI) those given antibiotics were better, but those taking ibuprofen were still battling symptoms.
And of the 181 given the painkiller, seven of them went on to develop a painful kidney infection.
Doctors usually recommend ibuprofen to reduce the amount of antibiotics needed to cure the infection, as increased antibiotic use is leading to drug-resident strains of the bacteria that causes UTIs.
Getty – Contributor If you have a UTI you may experience burning when you wee, tummy pain and a frequent need to pee
“Initial treatment with ibuprofen could reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in this group,” the authors concluded.
“However, until we can identify those women in need of antibiotic treatment to prevent complications, we cannot recommend ibuprofen alone to women with uncomplicated UTIs.”
Last week it was revealed cranberry juice won’t cure a UTI and patients were advised to drink plenty of water instead.
Around one in every two women will suffer a urinary tract infection at some point in their lifetime.
And of those one in four will suffer a recurrent infection within six months of the first.
Getty – Contributor Women who took ibuprofen for a UTI were at a greater risk of developing a kidney infection, experts found
Cystitis is a type of urinary tract infection and is very common but can cause extreme discomfort to sufferers.
It is an inflammation of the bladder which is typically caused by a bladder infection.
UTIs happen when the urinary tract becomes infected, usually by bacteria.
Anyone can get a UTI, but they’re particularly common in women, and especially common after sex.
A typical case of cystitis starts when a woman finds she needs to wee more than usual, and that going for a wee is difficult – it is slow to start and the stream is reduced.