Older patients with UTIs need antibiotics ASAP

Lower rates of sepsis are seen in over-65s given treatment on day of diagnosis, shows UK study

Older patients with suspected UTIs should be given antibiotics immediately, say UK researchers.

Their large study shows rates of sepsis are more than 10 times higher among over-65-year-olds given no antibiotics or a deferred script by their GP than for those prescribed the drugs straight away.

The findings go against increasing pressure on GPs to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, note the authors, from a range of London universities.

In the study, which included nearly 313,000 incidences of UTI in more than 157,000 primary care patients, the overall rate of sepsis was low, at 0.5% in the 60 days post-UTI diagnosis.

However, in those immediately given antibiotics, the rate was just 0.2%.

Among the patients either not prescribed antibiotics or issued a deferred script, the rate of sepsis was 2