To compare the prophylactic effect of oral and intravenous antibiotics against postoperative fever and urinary tract infection (UTI) after transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR-P), we conducted a multi-center prospective randomized study. The incidence of pyrexia over 38 degrees C was defined as the primary endpoint. One hundred and fifty patients with sterile urine before TUR-P were entered into this study. The patients were allocated randomly into the two arms; arm A cefotiam 4 g a day for 7 days, arm B tosufloxacin 300 mg a day for 7 days, based on the stratification into the 4 groups determined with/without preoperative indwelling catheters and with/without the history of preoperative UTI. Of these patients, 143 were eligible. We divided 124 patients without preoperative UTI and without indwelling catheters as the "low risk group", and the other 19 patients with preoperative UTI and/or with indwelling catheters as the "high risk group". In the low risk group, 9 patients out of 63 (14.3%) in arm A and 6 out of 61 (9.8%) in arm B had pyrexia during 7 postoperative days. The incidence of fever in arm B was 4.4% less than that in arm A and the 95% confidence limit was from -7% to 16%. In the high risk group, 4 out of 11 (36.4%) patients in arm A and none of 8 in arm B had fever but the difference was not significant. The incidence of post operative UTI in the low risk group on the 4 to 5, 9 to 12, 23 to 26 and 37 to 40 postoperative days was 8.3, 16.4, 25.0 and 23.9% in arm A and 6.7, 16.7, 29.6 and 36.7% in arm B, respectively. The prophylactic effect of oral administration of tosufloxacin is equivalent to that of the intravenous administration of cefotiam. The use of oral antibiotics is beneficial to reducing the cost of medication.