Pouchitis, often developing after colectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis, is highly responsive to antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin and/or metronidazole are commonly used, often for prolonged periods. We report patterns of antibiotic use, adverse events, and resistant infections in patients with pouchitis with long-term antibiotic treatment.
In a cohort of patients following pouch surgery, a retrospective nested case-control analysis was performed between 2010 and 2017. Ultra-long-term use, defined as the top 10% of users, was compared with the remaining users. Patterns of antibiotic use, adverse events, and resistant infections were analyzed.
The cohort included 205 patients with UC, of whom 167 (81.5%) used antibiotics for pouchitis, predominantly ciprofloxacin. The long-term antibiotic use rate was 18% and 42% at 5 and 20 years postsurgery, respectively. Mean antibiotic use of at least 1, 3, and 6 months/year was noted in 54 (26.3%), 31 (15.1%), and 14 (6.8%) patients, respectively. Twenty-two (13.2%) and 4 (2.4%) patients reported mild and severe (transient) adverse events, respectively, without mortalities, tendinopathies or arrhythmias. Adverse event rates for ciprofloxacin and metronidazole were 1per 10,000 and 6 per 10,000 use-days, respectively. Longer, but not ultra-long antibiotic use, was associated with mild adverse events. There was no association between antibiotic use and resistant infections. Thirteen (6.3%) patients required ileostomy procedures-more commonly in the ultra-long-term antibiotic users.
Patients with pouchitis may require prolonged antibiotic treatment, reflecting clinical benefit and favorable safety profile. Few adverse events and resistant infections were observed with long-term antibiotics use. However, resistant microbial strains selection, which are potentially transmittable, warrants consideration of different therapeutic alternatives.

© 2021 Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.