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New UTI Treatment Approved by FDA

Jun 3, 2024

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial infections of the bladder, are some of the most common health conditions for women and individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB). Half of all women experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and it’s one of the most frequent reasons for antibiotic use. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for uncomplicated UTIs: pivmecillinam tablets, known as Pivya.

This drug has been used in Europe for decades and is often a first-line treatment for women whose infection is confined to the bladder and hasn’t reached the kidneys. In the U.S., Pivya will be available by prescription to women 18 and older. 

“The news of a newly approved treatment option comes at the right time, as physicians face the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance—a phenomenon that makes existing medications less effective as pathogens adapt and mutate in response to antibiotics,” said Benjamin DiJoseph, D.O., an OB/GYN at Inspira Medical Center Vineland. 

The Rise of Antimicrobial Resistance

The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance grew out of widespread antibiotic overuse. According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance has caused over five million deaths. “Unfortunately, the majority of UTIs are resistant to one or more antibiotics,” said Dr. DiJoseph. “Several commonly used antibiotics for treating UTIs now meet resistance. Our health system provides information to our providers about which antibiotics are less likely to meet resistance when treating various infections.”

UTIs occur when bacteria travel from the rectum, genital area, or vagina into the urethra to enter the bladder and multiply. This type of infection can become dangerous and difficult to treat if it enters the kidneys or bloodstream. While those who are immunocompromised are particularly susceptible to illnesses stemming from antimicrobial resistance, drug-resistant germs in UTIs pose a serious risk to healthy people as well. 

New Treatments Against UTIs 

While Pivya gives physicians another tool to help patients fight off UTIs, it’s important to use the drug responsibly to avoid breeding resistance to it. Women and AFAB individuals should keep an eye out for these UTI symptoms: 

  • Blood in the urine 
  • Pain or burning during urination 
  • Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination or feeling the urge to urinate even with an empty bladder (Urinary Incontinence)

“If you experience these symptoms, talk to your physician about getting a urine test to confirm a UTI diagnosis,” said Dr. DiJoseph. “If you develop a fever, chills, lower back pain, nausea or vomiting, it could be a sign of a kidney infection and should be treated immediately.” 

Inspira Medical Group offers an experienced team of women’s health specialists throughout Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. To begin your journey to find a women’s health care provider at Inspira, click here


Topics: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Women's Health