FDA Approves New Antibiotic for Uncomplicated UTIs


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

The agency on April 24 approved pivmecillinam tablets to treat women aged 18 years or older with UTIs caused by bacteria susceptible to the drug.

The beta-lactam antibiotic already is approved in Europe and has been used for more than 40 years outside of the United States to treat infections, according to the drug’s manufacturer, Utility Therapeutics. 

The drug is an aminopenicillin that rapidly converts to mecillinam, according to the company, which is marketing the medication as Pivya. 

Pivmecillinam is intended to treat UTIs caused by susceptible isolates of Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus

Researchers studied the treatment in three clinical trials. One study found women who received the new antibiotic were more likely to have resolution of symptoms and a reduction in bacteria in urine compared with placebo (62% vs 10%). Similar results were seen in a trial that used ibuprofen as the comparator (66% vs 22%). 

In a third study that assessed two oral antibacterial drugs, 72% of women who received pivmecillinam and 76% who received the other drug achieved resolution of symptoms and a reduction in bacteria, according to the FDA. 

The most common side effects of pivmecillinam include nausea and diarrhea.

About half of all women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and the infections are one the top reasons for antibiotic prescriptions, the FDA noted. 

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