SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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A systematic review of randomised clinical trials for oral antibiotic treatment of acute pyelonephritis.

There is increasing resistance to the oral antibiotics currently recommended for the treatment of pyelonephritis, and increased healthcare costs are associated with the reliance on alternative intravenous agents. We, therefore, performed a systematic review of randomised controlled trials to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of oral antibiotics for the treatment of pyelonephritis in adults. A search of four major medical databases (MEDLINE, Embase+ Embase classic, CENTRAL and Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews) in addition to manual reference searching of relevant reviews was conducted. Clinical cure and adverse event rates were reported, and trial quality and bias were assessed. A total of 277 studies were reviewed; five studies matched all eligibility criteria and were included. Antibiotics included were cefaclor, ciprofloxacin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, loracarbef, norfloxacin, rufloxacin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. In included studies, the clinical success of the outpatient treatment of pyelonephritis by cefaclor, ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin at 4 to 6 weeks was comparable at between 83 to 95%. Relatively high rates of adverse events were noted in a trial of ciprofloxacin (24%) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (33%). Significant heterogeneity between all aspects of the trial designs was identified, with all studies having a potential for bias. This review demonstrates a need for high-quality clinical trials into the oral antibiotic treatment of pyelonephritis, with more consistent designs and reporting of outcomes. There are data to support further research into oral norfloxacin and cefaclor for the outpatient treatment of pyelonephritis in adults.

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