Use of Cranberry Products for UTI Prevention in Pediatric Patients

A common infection in the pediatric population is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). A UTI can occur due to obstruction of urine flow or urinary stasis. The pathogen that causes most UTIs is called Escherichia coli in adults. In children, however, the most common cause of UTIs is Pseudomonas. Low-dose antibiotics were given for prophylaxis in the past to children who showed obstructive disease or recurrent UTIs. Now, it is realized that this leads to antibiotic resistance and other interventions need to be explored.

Healthcare professionals initially believed that cranberry would be an effective prevention of UTIs because it would cause the urinary tract system to be more acidic, but it is not known for sure that the urine pH changes. Now, cranberry is thought to stop the attachment of bacteria to the uroepithelial cells and also that it inhibits the formation of biofilm bacteria. Cranberry use has been studied in the prevention of recurrent UTIs in women, so now researchers are studying the possible benefits in children.

Eight clinical trials were reviewed and their results showed that cranberry is a safe and effective option that could prevent recurrent UTIs in pediatric  patients. This is especially true for otherwise healthy patients. A dose of 2-5 mL/kg/day proved to have the most benefit in the pediatric population. Should clinicians promote the use of cranberry supplements  for the prophylaxis of UTIs  to parents with children or should they only address that if the child develops a UTI first?

Durham SH, Stamm PL, Eiland LS. Cranberry Products for the Prophylaxis of Urinary Tract Infections in Pediatric Patients. Ann Pharmacother. 2015: 49(12); 1349-1356. http://aop.sagepub.com/content/49/12/1349.full.pdf

4 thoughts on “Use of Cranberry Products for UTI Prevention in Pediatric Patients”

  1. I think it would be wise to use cranberries to prevent recurrent UTIs in children. UTIs are very common in young children, which exposes them to a lot of antibiotics at a young age. Also, it can be difficult sometimes to get children to take medications, which makes it even more likely for the child not to complete the prescription. This could lead to antibiotic resistance at a young age. If using cranberries could help prevent the child from becoming infected with an UTI in the first place, I think it is a great idea. Also, getting kids to drink cranberry juice would likely be much easier than getting them to take an antibiotic.

  2. I find this article very interesting because I have always known that cranberry juice is recommended as a preventative measure for UTIs, but I never knew the reasoning behind it. Now that I know that it helps to inhibit certain bacterias, I think that it would definitely be a good idea to recommend the use of cranberry supplements for children. If some parents struggle with getting their children to drink cranberry juice because of the bitter taste, maybe pharmacists can recommend cranberry gummies that are more appealing to children. It may also be beneficial to look into other populations at risk for UTIs, such as older individuals or people on different types of medications with UTIs as a side effect. Maybe pharmacists can recommend cranberry supplements for these individuals as well.

  3. Using cranberries and cranberry juices should be promoted more if its proven to help reduce UTI risk in children, especially in the face of the overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. Cranberry products have no risks and seem like a perfect type of supplement for use in children. I do think that this topic is one worth people everywhere doing more research and pharmacists should, with the proper research and proof of efficacy of cranberry products to help UTI, recommend these to patients. Using the supplements for prophylaxis doesn’t seem to have any risks but I could see using these for prevention to vary on a patient specific basis.

  4. I also think that pharmacists and doctors should be promoting the use of cranberry for the prophylactic treatment of UTI’s in children. This will help reduce the frequency of UTI’s in children and hopefully help combat the antibiotic resistance issues we are facing today and in the future. Also, since cranberry juice is tart/sour, maybe a cranberry supplement can be added into children’s multivitamins to aid with compliance. Overall, I think this is an interesting concept, and I think a lot of parents would rather have their kids take a supplement or drink cranberry juice prophylactically than to take an antibiotic to treat the UTI. Research similar to this should also be done in elderly patients, since UTI’s are frequent in that population as well.

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