What Antibiotics Are Commonly Used To Treat Urinary Tract Infections
A handful of antibiotics are used to treat the most common urinary tract infections . In 75-95% of these cases, the infection is caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli , so experts know which antibiotics work well against the infection. These antibiotics are called first-line antibiotics.
They are given orally and include:
Amoxicillin and ampicillin are no longer used because of a high level of antibiotic resistance.
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.
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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What Are Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics For Uti
In addition to the notable side effects weve already covered, there are a few more potential antibiotic side effects youll want to know about.
Most antibiotics can cause some degree of stomach upset like nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for 2 or more days, let your healthcare provider know. Diarrhea is a common side effect while taking antibiotics and just after finishing them. But in some cases, diarrhea from antibiotics can be a sign of a more serious infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria.
Some people are also sensitive to antibiotics, which could result in a minor reaction like a rash or a more serious reaction like anaphylaxis. If you notice difficulty breathing or major skin changes after taking an antibiotic, get medical help right away.
You Can Get A Uti From Having Sex
There is a clear link between UTIs and sex. For many people, having sex causes UTIs to occur over and over again. Data shows that UTI symptoms most often begin about 2 days after having sexual intercourse.
Sex can cause a UTI. This is because the friction involved in sexual activity pushes bacteria toward the urethra. Anything that allows or encourages bacteria to enter the urinary tract increases the risk of UTI.
UTIs should be treated to keep them from getting worse. This usually requires a prescription for antibiotics. Since going to see your healthcare provider every time you have sex isnt a reasonable option for many people, its helpful to think ahead. There are things you can do to prevent a UTI before it starts.
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How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
Antibiotics For Urinary Tract Infections
There are several different types of antibiotics that can be used, if needed, to treat urinary tract infections. Your prescriber will decide on the most appropriate antibiotic for you, depending on what infection you have and the type of bacteria causing it.
Using antibiotics can contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Find out more about what antibiotic resistance is and what you can do to prevent it.
If you are given antibiotic treatment for a UTI and your symptoms dont improve at all or improve only slightly, it could be a sign that the infection is due to an antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Relieving UTI symptoms
While you are taking antibiotics to treat a UTI, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water and make sure you completely empty your bladder each time you go to the toilet.
Depending on the kind of antibiotic treatment prescribed, your healthcare professional may recommend the use of urinary alkalylinisers which make the urine less acidic and can ease the pain and burning sensation during urination that sometimes occurs with UTIs.
Any abdominal, pelvic, or back pain due to an upper UTI can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relief, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen.
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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.
Are There Any Over
Over-the-counter antibiotics for a UTI are not available. You should see your doctor to have your symptoms evaluated.
Your provider may recommend an OTC product called Uristat to numb your bladder and urethra to ease the burning pain during urination. Uristat can be bought without a prescription at the pharmacy. A similar phenazopyridine product called Pyridium is also available.
Take phenazopyridine for only 48 hours, and be aware it may cause your urine to turn a brown, orange or red color which may stain fabrics or contact lenses. It may be best to not wear contact lenses while being treated with phenazopyridine.
Phenazopyridine is not an antibiotic and will not cure a UTI.
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Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Children
Sean Nguyen, PharmD, BCPSSenior Clinical Pharmacist, Infectious DiseaseChildrens Medical Center DallasDallas, Texas
Senior Clinical Pharmacist, PGY1 Residency DirectorChildrens Medical Center DallasDallas, Texas
Urinary tract infections affect approximately 2.4% to 2.8% of children every year in the United States and account for nearly 1.1 million office visits annually.1 Hospital costs for pediatric patients with pyelonephritis total greater than $180 million per year in the U.S.1 Diagnosis of a UTI may be difficult because young children often present with nonspecific symptoms such as fever, poor oral intake, vomiting, or irritability. Unlike adults, children may develop renal scarring and hypertension secondary to an acute infection. Prompt identification and treatment of a first or recurrent infection plays an important role in the prevention of sequelae. Many patients can be treated with oral antibiotics however, young infants, the severely ill, or those not tolerating oral medications should be evaluated for IV antibiotic treatment.
How Do Antibiotics Treat A Uti
UTIs can be caused by many different types of germs including bacteria or fungi and in rare cases, even viruses. But bacterial UTIs are the most common.
If you have a bacterial UTI, the only way to treat it is by getting rid of the bacteria thats causing it. Thats where antibiotics come in. They either stop those bacteria from growing or directly kill the bacteria altogether.
Its worth noting that antibiotics only treat UTIs and other infections caused by bacteria. If you have a fungal or viral UTI, antibiotics wont help.
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Which Antibiotic Gets Rid Of A Uti Fastest
The antibiotic you will be prescribed will depend on a few factors, such as how often you get UTIs, your medication allergies, and other medical conditions you have. No matter which one your provider chooses, though, know that they all work well.
is a first choice because it works very well and can treat a UTI in as little as 3 days when taken twice a day. Some providers might choose to have you take it a few days longer than that to be sure your infection is totally gone. Unfortunately, Bactrim is a sulfa drug, and many people are allergic to it.
is another first choice for UTIs, but it has to be taken a bit longer than Bactrim. You have to take Macrobid twice a day for a minimum of 5 days for UTIs, but many providers will have you take it for a week to be sure you are all better.
remains a fan favorite because it works in as little as 3 days and only has to be taken once a day. But it does carry some serious risks like tendon ruptures and heart problems. It also tends to cause bacterial resistance more often than the previously mentioned antibiotics.
See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
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Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Infections
Ladies, if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you are probably right. One study found that women who self-diagnose a UTI are right 84% of the time.
You can apply this know-how to partner with your health care provider to pick the right treatment The go-to treatment of a UTI, which is caused by a bacteria, is antibiotics. Your questions about treatment decisions can make a difference, especially since antibiotic recommendations have shifted and not all doctors have changed their practices.
What Is The Best Antibiotic For Urinary Tract Infection
The urinary tract is comprised of the ureters , kidneys, bladder, and urethra . Urinary tract infections wake forest nc are most commonly located in the urethra and bladder and while typically caused by bacteria, UTIs can also be viral or fungal. For patients suffering from a bacterial UTI, they may be curious about what antibiotics are the best for treating their infection.
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Antibiotics For Acute And Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections
First-line treatment for an uncomplicated UTI may start with a single dose of fosfomycin or nitrofurantoin twice per day for five days, or sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim twice per day for three days. These medications can be started based on your symptoms and urinalysis results, and should be effective in most cases.
Although much less common, men may also get this type of UTI. The choice of antibiotics is the same, but they may be given for a longer time because bacteria may move into the prostate gland and take longer to treat.
When doctors diagnose an uncomplicated UTI, they are usually diagnosing a type of UTI called cystitis, which means a bladder infection. In fact, the terms UTI, cystitis and bladder infection are often used interchangeably. Acute uncomplicated cystitis is another medical term for a common UTI that has not spread or become severe.
The term uncomplicated refers to a simple UTI found in a generally healthy adult who:
- Is not pregnant or postmenopausal
- Is not immunocompromised
- Has no structural abnormalities in the urinary tract
- Has no other diseases
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Children
BRETT WHITE, MD, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
Am Fam Physician. 2011 Feb 15 83:409-415.
Acute urinary tract infections are relatively common in children, with 8 percent of girls and 2 percent of boys having at least one episode by seven years of age. The most common pathogen is Escherichia coli, accounting for approximately 85 percent of urinary tract infections in children. Renal parenchymal defects are present in 3 to 15 percent of children within one to two years of their first diagnosed urinary tract infection. Clinical signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection depend on the age of the child, but all febrile children two to 24 months of age with no obvious cause of infection should be evaluated for urinary tract infection . Evaluation of older children may depend on the clinical presentation and symptoms that point toward a urinary source . Increased rates of E. coli resistance have made amoxicillin a less acceptable choice for treatment, and studies have found higher cure rates with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Other treatment options include amoxicillin/clavulanate and cephalosporins. Prophylactic antibiotics do not reduce the risk of subsequent urinary tract infections, even in children with mild to moderate vesicoureteral reflux. Constipation should be avoided to help prevent urinary tract infections. Ultrasonography, cystography, and a renal cortical scan should be considered in children with urinary tract infections.
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Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
Anyone can. But they’re more likely when you:
- Are a woman
- Have had UTIs before
- Have a condition that affects your bladder’s nerves
- Have been through menopause
- Are overweight
- Have something that blocks the passage of urine, such as a tumor, kidney stone, or an enlarged prostate
- Use a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control
- Have a catheter, a tube placed into the bladder to drain urine from the bladder into a bag outside the body
- Are a man who has sex with men, has HIV, or hasnât been circumcised
Most of these traits also raise the odds that a simple bladder infection may become a more serious kidney infection or turn into . For pregnant women, a kidney infection can lead to delivering a baby too early.
How Long Will I Take It For
If you’re taking nitrofurantoin to:
- treat a urinary tract infection, then you usually need to take it for 3 to 7 days
- stop urinary tract infections coming back, you may need to take it for several months
- prevent an infection before having surgery, you’ll usually need take it on the day of the operation and for the next 3 days
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Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
How To Use Amoxicillin Oral
Drink plenty of fluids while using this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time every day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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