What is the role of medicated and silver-coated catheters in urinary incontinence treatment?

Updated: Jan 22, 2021
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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The type of urinary catheter used may affect the likelihood of catheter-related UTIs. Urinary catheters impregnated with medications (eg, nitrofurazone or minocycline and rifampin) or coated with a silver alloy-hydrogel significantly reduce the risk of catheter-related UTI for catheterizations not exceeding 2-3 weeks.

In trials of silver-coated urinary catheters, silver alloy catheters appear to be significantly more effective than silver oxide catheters in preventing UTIs. [63] Although silver alloy catheters cost about $6 more than conventional urinary catheters, they may be worth the extra cost to prevent symptomatic UTIs and urosepsis. This type of catheter especially may be apropos in immunocompromised patients at high risk for infection.

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