First Line Antibiotics For A Uti
Notably absent from the list of antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of UTIs is Amoxicillin. While very popular and useful in treating numerous other bacterial infections, urinary tract infections are not amongst the infections Amoxicillin is used for.
Practice Good Sexual Hygiene
The also says that sexual intercourse introduces bacteria and other microbes from outside the body to the urinary tract. Practicing good sexual hygiene can help to reduce the number of bacteria that people can transfer during intercourse and other sexual acts.
Examples of good sexual hygiene include:
- urinating before and immediately after sex
- using barrier contraception, such as a condom
- washing the genitals, especially the foreskin, before and after engaging in sexual acts or intercourse
- washing the genitals or changing condoms if switching from anal sex to vaginal sex
- ensuring that sexual partners are aware of any current or previous UTIs
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Other Antibiotics And Treatments For Urinary Tract Infections
Other antibiotics may be as effective as first-line antibiotics but have more side effects or risks of complications. They are not commonly used. They include:
Antibiotics called beta-lactams may be used when other first-line antibiotics are unavailable or cannot be used for any other reason. They include:
These are not usually first-line choices because they are broad-spectrum antibiotics that have a higher risk of causing antibiotic resistance.
Another drug that is frequently prescribed for a UTI is phenazopyridine, available under several brand names such as Pyridium. This medication is not an antibiotic and does not cure a UTI. It is used to relieve symptoms of pain, burning, urgency and pressure.
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Will I Need An Intravenous Antibiotic For A Uti
If you are pregnant, have a high fever, or cannot keep food and fluids down, your doctor may admit you to the hospital so you can have treatment with intravenous antibiotics for a complicated UTI. You may return home and continue with oral antibiotics when your infection starts to improve.
In areas with fluoroquinolone resistance exceeding 10%, in patients with more severe pyelonephritis, those with a complicated UTI who have allergies to fluoroquinolones, or are unable to tolerate the drug class, intravenous therapy with an agent such as ceftriaxone, or an aminoglycoside, such as gentamicin or tobramycin, may be appropriate. Your ongoing treatment should be based on susceptibility data received from the laboratory.
How Long Do I Need To Take Antibiotics To Treat A Uti
How long you take antibiotics for a UTI depends on how severe your UTI is and which antibiotic youre prescribed. Some medications like fosfomycin only require one dose, while a more severe UTI might require 14 days or more of treatment. Most require 3 to 7 days of treatment.
Within the first 1 to 2 days of starting your antibiotics, youll probably notice your UTI symptoms start to fade away. If your UTI is more severe or youve had symptoms for a while before starting antibiotics, it might take a few more days for you to notice improvement.
In any case, its important to take all the antibiotics youre prescribed, even if you start feeling better before finishing them. Stopping antibiotics early can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means the medication might not work as well as it should if you need it to treat an infection in the future. It can also mean your UTI might come back if you havent treated it completely.
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Implications For Research And Practice
Based on the data we analysed, a pragmatic approach is required when considering prescribing long-term antibiotics in older patients with recurrent UTI. Although long-term antibiotics may reduce the risk of UTI recurrence in women, this benefit diminishes on cessation of treatment. Little is known about optimal prophylaxis period, long-term effects on health, risk of antibiotic resistant infections, effect in older men, effect in frail care home residents or impact on important patient-centred outcomes. These unknowns must be balanced against benefits and patient preferences.
Future research efforts on recurrent UTI should focus on improving the design and reporting of trials and developing a core set of outcomes to allow better synthesis of trial data. Antibiotic prophylaxis should be compared with non-antibiotic prophylaxis with some evidence of efficacy rather than those with little or poor evidence of efficacy. Researchers should address unanswered questions regarding long-term effects, duration of use, adverse effects and antibiotic resistance.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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The Best Antibiotics For Uti
The top antibiotics for UTI are:
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole This is a combination antibiotic drug used for treating UTI and other infections. The antibiotic works by preventing the growth of bacteria. It is available in tablet and suspension form and must be prescribed by a doctor. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
- Fosfomycin Fosfomycin is an antibacterial drug used for treating urinary tract infections. It kills bacteria that cause UTI. Fosfomycin is available by prescription only in tablet form. Fosfomycin side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, and headaches.
- Nitrofurantoin This antibiotic is frequently used to treat acute UTIs. Nitrofurantoin inhibits bacterial DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis. The most common side effects of Nitrofurantoin are nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
- Cephalexin Cephalexin can treat a variety of bacterial infections, including UTIs. By inhibiting the formation of the bacterial cell wall, Cephalexin helps prevent the growth of bacteria causing a UTI. Cephalexin is available in capsule, and suspension form.
- Ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone injection also treats many different types of infections caused by bacteria. The injection may be administered in a doctors office or hospital. Ceftriaxone kills bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and is only available with a doctors prescription.
How Do You Get Infected
You can become infected when you swallow even a small amount of E. coli bacteria. Among the ways this can happen:
- Ground meat: You eat ground meat that carries E. coli, and the meat wasnât cooked enough to kill the bacteria. When meat is processed, sometimes bacteria from the animalsâ intestines make their way into the meat. This happens more with ground meat because it comes from more than one animal.
- Untreated milk: You drink unpasteurized milk, which hasnât been heated to kill bacteria. E. coli can get into the milk from the cowâs udder or from milking equipment.
- Vegetables and fruit: You might eat fresh vegetables or fruit thatâs been tainted by water that has the bacteria. This happens most often when manure from nearby animals mixes with the water supply.
- Other foods and beverages: You might also get E. coli from unpasteurized fruit juices and yogurt and cheese made from raw milk.
- Water: You swallow water that contains E. coli, perhaps while swimming in a pool, lake, or pond.
- Other people: You might get E. coli from another person who has it, such as a child. The bacteria can be passed to you if you clean up after an infected person and then donât wash your hands really well before you touch your mouth.
- Animals: It can be found at petting zoos or animal exhibits at fairs.
You can also contaminate food in your own kitchen if you allow a knife or cutting board that has touched uncooked meat to come into contact with food that will be eaten raw .
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Best Antibiotics For A Uti
Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.
Dr. Umer Khan
Dr. Umer Khan
Medically reviewed by Dr Umer Khan, MD who is a Board Certified physician practicing in Pennsylvania. His special interests include wellness, longevity and medical IT.
What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
Why Do Antibiotics Sometimes Not Work For A Urinary Tract Infection
If an antibiotic doesnt work it is likely that the bacteria causing the UTI is not susceptible or is resistant to the antibiotic you are taking.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when the bacteria that is causing the infection is no longer affected by a particular antibiotic and is able to continue to grow and multiply. Inappropriate and unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.
If you felt better for a little while and then came down with the symptoms of a UTI again, it is also possible that you have a new or recurrent UTI.
Another possibility if you continue to experience symptoms of a UTI despite antibiotic treatment, is that you have another type of infection that mimics that symptoms of a UTI and you need a different antibiotic or other treatment. Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example, produce symptoms that mimic a UTI. Vaginal yeast infections can also cause burning when you pee.
Can You Get A Uti From Having Sex
Sexual intercourse is a prime scenario for bacteria to enter the urethra, especially for women, who tend to experience more UTIs than men do. The physical activity involved in sex can send bacteria into the urethra. In fact, studies show that increasing the frequency of sex increases the likelihood of UTIs. Remember that the urethra connects directly to the bladder, so if the germs continue to travel up the urinary tract, they will reach the bladder first.
Sex is a common way for germs like bacteria to enter the urinary tract, but its not the only way. Lets discuss some other potential UTI causes.
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Treatment For A Uti Caused By E Coli
The first line of treatment for any bacterial infection is antibiotics.
- If your urinalysis comes back positive for germs, a doctor will likely prescribe one of several antibiotics that works to kill E. coli, since its the most common UTI culprit.
- If a urine culture finds a different germ is behind your infection, youll get switched to an antibiotic that targets that germ.
- You may also receive a prescription for a drug called pyridium, which helps reduce bladder pain.
- If you tend to get recurrent UTIs , you may need to be on low-dose antibiotics daily for a few months.
- Your doctor may also prescribe other medications for treatment that are not antibiotic based.
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What Are Risk Factors For Recurrent Utis
Having had a UTI in the past
Incomplete emptying of the bladder, such as after menopause
A weakened immune system
The influence of these risk factors also differs for women depending on their age. In young, pre-menopausal women, the most common risk factor for recurrent UTIs is frequency of sexual intercourse. Having sex more than 9 times a month makes them twice as likely to have recurrent UTIs compared to having sex 4 to 8 times in a month.
In postmenopausal women, the strongest risk factor is related to the ability to empty the bladder. If you have urinary incontinence or a condition that keeps you from being able to completely empty your bladder, your risk of recurrent UTIs is higher.
If you have recurrent UTIs, your healthcare provider may suggest antibiotics for prevention. That means youd be taking an antibiotic regularly to prevent another UTI, rather than treat an existing one.
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Small Compounds Targeting Urease
Urease, an enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea, is crucial in the pathogenesis of several uropathogenic bacteria such as P. mirabilis, Klebsiella sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Staphylococcus sp. . This enzyme leads to the alkalinization of the urine and the production of struvite and carbonate apatite that make up the major component of urinary stones . These conditions lead to the inflammation of the urogenital epithelia thus increasing the risk of catheter-associated biofilm formation that may contribute to pyelonephritis , mainly due to both bacterial and host cysteine protease .
The most studied inhibitors of urease are hydroxamic acids . These molecules have a high inhibitory activity against urease, by bonding to the two nickel ions in the urease active site . Initially, these molecules were used to treat UTIs by preventing urine alkalization . However, because of the growing evidence of side effects such as mutagenic power, they were progressively phased out .
Through similarly interacting with nickel ions in the urease active site, the phenyl phosphoramidates were found to have the highest inhibitory activity . Studies testing these molecules in an in vitro model and in a rat model found promising results. Since then, no in vivo studies or clinical trials have been developed, probably due to the poor hydrolytic stability of these molecules which leads to a very short half-life .
Common Side Effects With Antibiotic Use
Each antibiotic is responsible for its own unique list of side effects, and the list is usually extensive. Be sure to discuss your individual antibiotic side effects with your healthcare provider. However, there are side effects that are common to most antibiotics, regardless of class or drug:
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Why Do Women Get Utis More Often Than Men
Women are more susceptible to getting a UTI thanks to their anatomy. Their urethras are both closer to the rectum and shorter in length than mens urethras are theyre also near the vagina. In other words, womens bodies naturally present a convenient access point for the myriad bacteria that commonly cause UTIs.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI. A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.
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Before Antibiotics Utis Often Equaled Death
8 million people visit the doctor every year because of a UTI. Fortunately, the infection is almost always cleared up with antibiotics. People in the past were not as lucky.
At least 50% of women and 12% of men will get a urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI, in their lifetime. To present a hypothetical case, it is 1852 and a young, married woman gets up to use the chamber pot and when she pees, it stings. The next day she keeps having the urge to urinate but very little or nothing comes out. When it does, the pain is worse than the day before.
Here are a few hints to what she might or might not be thinking.
How Long Should I Take Antibiotics
Your doctor will let you know. Typically, for an uncomplicated infection, you’ll take antibiotics for 2 to 3 days. Some people will need to take these medicines for up to 7 to 10 days.
For a complicated infection, you might need to take antibiotics for 14 days or more.
If you still have symptoms after completing antibiotics, a follow-up urine test can show whether the germs are gone. If you still have an infection, you’ll need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time.
If you get UTIs often, you may need a prolonged course of antibiotics. And if sex causes your UTIs, you’ll take a dose of the medicine right before you have sex. You can also take antibiotics whenever you get a new UTI if youâre having symptoms and a positive urine culture.
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Can Antibiotics Cause A Uti
No. Antibiotics get rid of bacteria, they dont cause infections. But, antibiotics can cause changes in the normal healthy balance of microbes in the body. One example of where this can happen is in the vagina. By disturbing the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, taking antibiotics can make it more likely that youll get a fungal infection like Candida, otherwise known as a yeast infection. This can feel like a UTI, but it isnt.
Now, this doesnt mean you should never take antibiotics. It does, however, mean that you should only take antibiotics when necessary. Taking antibiotics when you dont need them can cause unnecessary side effects. And when you do take them, you should finish the entire course, even if you start feeling better before your course is over.