Read This Article To Learn More About:
- the new PHE diagnostic flowcharts for urinary tract infection and how they can improve patient outcomes and antimicrobial stewardship
- why dipstick tests are no longer recommended in older people with suspected UTI
- when to send urine for culture, and when to prescribe an antibiotic.
Symptoms associated with urinary tract infections are one of the most common, acute reasons for women to seek health care. UTIs cause significant pain and interfere with daily routine. The results of a 2014 UK-based survey revealed that:1
- in the previous year, 11% of women reported a UTI and 3% reported recurrent UTI
- of all women who had ever had a UTI, 95% reported consulting a healthcare professional and of these, 76% had a urine culture test
- of all women who contacted an HCP about their last UTI, 74% were prescribed an antibiotic
- 48% of women rated their last UTI as fairly or very severe.
Optimising the diagnosis of UTIs is important as studies indicate that, of all women in the UK with a suspected UTI who are prescribed an antibiotic and have urine sent for culture, only 2466% have a confirmed UTI.2,3
Complications And Side Effects
Antibiotics can cause side effects. Depending on which medication your doctor prescribes for your UTI, the side effects may include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
Some people can be allergic to certain antibiotics. If you develop hives, a rash, or other skin changes after beginning your medication, you may be sensitive to your prescription and should seek medical advice.
If you begin to cough or wheeze, feel lightheaded, a fast heartbeat or clammy skin, feel confused, a tightness in your throat, or have difficulty breathing, you may be experiencing a medical emergency called anaphylaxis. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.
Is There Treatment For Utis
Most UTIs are easy to treat. Treatment for UTIs is generally antibiotics, which get rid of the infection. You can also take over-the-counter pain medicine if you want.
Antibiotics are usually quick and effective most symptoms go away within a day or 2 of taking medicine. But be sure to finish all of your medicine, even if your symptoms go away. If you stop your UTI treatment early, the infection might still be there or could come back.
If your symptoms dont go away after a few days, or for more severe infections like a kidney or prostate infection, your doctor or nurse may recommend more tests, different medication, or refer you to a specialist.
What Is Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection is an infection affecting a persons urinary tract. The urinary tract involves the following internal body parts: kidneys, bladder, and urethra.
Here is how they work together. The kidneys are body organs that remove the waste from the blood flowing in them. Meanwhile, the bladder stores this waste or urine. Then, the urethra is the tube carrying the urine from the bladder and out of the body. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria happen to be in the urine and travel into the bladder.
According to reports from healthcare providers, UTIs are the principal reasons for visits among patients. Besides that, the majority of the patients with reported UTIs are women. It is because women have a shorter urethra than men, making bacteria travel shortly into the bladder.
Treatment Options And Resistance
Increasing resistance to narrow spectrum antibiotics limits the available treatment options in all ages. There remains a difficult balance between the clinical, empirical management of UTIs using broad-spectrum antibiotics in all age ranges, and the development of antibiotic resistance in the community.12 Table 1 shows the level of resistance of E. coli to antibiotics used to treat UTI in 2018. Trimethoprim resistance in England is now at 28.6% of E. coli urine isolates, compared with only 2% for nitrofurantoin, and 6% for pivmecillinam.15 Nitrofurantoin is therefore a first-line antibiotic to consider in all patients . Nitrofurantoin attains low urinary concentrations in patients with poor renal function, so other antibiotics should be considered if estimated glomerular filtration rate is < 45 ml/min, including trimethoprim , pivmecillinam, or fosfomycin.
NICE and PHE now recommend cefalexin as a first-line treatment for oral treatment of pyelonephritis in the community as resistance to this antibiotic is now lower than resistance to co-amoxiclav and randomised controlled trials show that it is equally effective.16,17
Escherichia coliTable 1. resistant to different antimicrobials in 2018-Quarter 3 15
|Antimicrobial tested against
Public Health England. Field Epidemiology Field Service NIS. Antibiotic drug-bug resistance profile workbooks . PHE 2018.
|No. tested against given antimicrobial
|No. resistant to given antimicrobial
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
Can You Get Uti Antibiotics Over The Counter
Currently, no urinary tract infection antibiotics are available over the counter in the United States. A person must consult a doctor to get the UTI treated with an antibiotic. However, an OTC product called Uristat can be taken initially to
- Numb the bladder and urethra
- Ease the burning pain during the urination
This medication can be bought without a prescription from the pharmacy store. This product is not an antibiotic. Take phenazopyridine only for 48 hours, and be aware, it may cause the urine to turn brown, orange or red, which can stain a fabric or contact lens.
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What Symptoms Will I Notice If My Uti Involves The Kidneys
Some symptoms associated with UTIs can imply that the infection involves the kidneys. In this instance, the infection is considered more serious, is classed as a complicated UTI as mentioned above, and always requires medical advice.
Symptoms of pyelonephritis include having a fever or chills, having pain around the sides or the back, and feeling or being sick. If you think you have a UTI and are also experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of pyelonephritis include having a fever or chills, having pain around the sides or the back, and feeling or being sick
All complicated UTIs generally require antibiotic treatment, although unfortunately some even require a hospital stay. Other UTIs which always require medical attention are those which occur in children, in men, and in pregnant women.12
Urine samples should be sent for further testing in the case of complicated UTIs, to ensure that if the symptoms dont get better, other antibiotics can be found and tried.
What To Do Next
If antibiotic treatment does not reduce the patients UTI symptoms, the doctor may perform other tests. The doctor is most likely to do a urine culture and sensitivity test to know what causes the infection. In effect, they could prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
The doctor may also require additional tests related to underlying conditions, such as a pelvic ultrasound or a computed tomography scan. This way, it would be easier for the doctor to find out the potential causes further.
Meanwhile, dental procedures may often require antibiotics before surgery. So, it would be best to take care of our teeth. Dental providers are everywhere . For this reason, lets make it a part of our routine to visit the dentists regularly.
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Are Antibiotics Effective Against Uti
Antibiotics can quickly relieve the symptoms of UTI. According to one study, people who took antibiotics felt better fairly quickly:
- Pain and burning resolved within 1-3 days.
- After one week, symptoms resolved in about 60% of the patients.
Some people may experience side effects from taking antibiotics, which include:
When To See A Doctor For A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is one of those health issues that’s almost impossible to ignore.
Fortunately, though, it’s also one that’s fairly easily managed if you know the signs to be on the lookout for and what to do when you think you have one.
“UTIs are a very common type of infection that can occur in both women and men,” says Dr. Chris Kannady, a urologist at Houston Methodist. “And knowing when to see a doctor is important since, left untreated, a UTI can spread beyond the lower urinary tract and into the kidneys, which is a more serious infection that can be harder to treat.”
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How Long Should A Uti Last After Antibiotics
For most cases of uncomplicated urinary tract infections , you will need to take a 3-day course of antibiotics and make sure to stay hydrated. Some infections, however, may require longer treatment for up to 7-10 days. For complicated UTIs, your course of antibiotics may extend up to 2 weeks or more. How long it takes to recover depends on:
- What bacteria is causing the infection
- What type of drug is used
- Your medical history
Symptoms like pain and the need to urinate often may resolve pretty quickly after starting antibiotics. But its important to complete the entire course of antibiotics to make sure the infection is completely gone, because it can stay in your body for a while.
Otc Uti Treatment: Key Takeaway
Women are prone to contracting a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Certain UTIs do not need treatment if they are diagnosed on time and if the symptoms are cared for, however, some UTIs require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.
While antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, researchers are looking for better OTC treatment options for UTI symptoms that might eliminate their need. Several OTC UTI treatment drugs help prevent and manage UTI symptoms but should never be considered a replacement to prescribed antibiotics. The only clinically proven cure for a UTI is a prescribed antibiotic and nothing else as of yet.
If you think you have a UTI, you may visit Family Medicine Austin and consult our healthcare experts. It is always advised to avoid self-treatment and seek medical help.
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Preventing Future Urinary Tract Infections
BATHING AND HYGIENE
To prevent future urinary tract infections, you should:
- Choose sanitary pads instead of tampons, which some doctors believe make infections more likely. Change your pad each time you use the bathroom.
- Do not douche or use feminine hygiene sprays or powders. As a general rule, do not use any product containing perfumes in the genital area.
- Take showers instead of baths. Avoid bath oils.
- Keep your genital area clean. Clean your genital and anal areas before and after sexual activity.
- Urinate before and after sexual activity. Drinking 2 glasses of water after sexual activity may help promote urination.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
- Avoid tight-fitting pants. Wear cotton-cloth underwear and pantyhose, and change both at least once a day.
The following improvements to your diet may prevent future urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids, 2 to 4 quarts each day.
- Do not drink fluids that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol and caffeine.
Some women have repeated bladder infections. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Use vaginal estrogen cream if you have dryness caused by menopause.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact.
- Take a cranberry supplement pill after sexual contact.
- Have a 3-day course of antibiotics at home to use if you develop an infection.
- Take a single, daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent infections.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
Rest As Much As Possible Until The Infection Clears Up
When youre sick, your body is working overtime to fight the infection. Thats why its important to rest as much as possible until the infection clears up. By resting, youre giving your body the time it needs to recover.
Additionally, resting helps to reduce symptoms like fatigue and pain. It can also help to prevent the spread of the infection by preventing you from coughing or sneezing.
Of course, resting can be difficult when you have a busy lifestyle. But if youre able to take a few days off from work or school, it will make a big difference in your recovery.
So make sure to get plenty of rest until the infection clears up. Your body will thank you for it.
How Long Does A Uti Last
The common treatment for UTI is a course of prescribed antibiotics. In terms of how long a UTI lasts, you can expect it to go away completely while taking antibiotics for a week. However, youll probably notice signs your UTI is going away even a day or two after starting the treatment. Just make sure that you continue taking the prescribed amount of antibiotics for as long as the doctor instructed. During this time, its recommended to drink a lot of water and sustain from engaging in sexual intercourse.
Some bacteria might not react to a certain type of antibiotics, but thats no reason to despair. If you dont notice any signs your UTI is going away even after three days of antibiotics treatment, report it to your doctor, and they will prescribe another kind of antibiotics. This isnt too uncommon, and doctors are generally familiar with the right course of action when presented with this situation.
How Do I Know If The Treatment Isnt Working
If the treatment isnt working, your symptoms will stay the same, get worse, or you will develop new symptoms. Call your doctor if you have a fever , chills, lower stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should also call your doctor if, after taking medicine for 3 days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. If you are pregnant, you should also call your doctor if you have any contractions.
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How Is A Uti Normally Treated
A UTI is normally treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics get rid of the bacteria that are causing the infection. Most people with a UTI feel better after just 1 to 2 days of taking antibiotics. And these medications usually help symptoms go away more quickly than over-the-counter medications like Advil or Aleve.
But antibiotics can also have some downsides. They can cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash. Some people can even have an allergic reaction or other life-threatening complication. Overusing antibiotics may also have serious public health consequences.
With this in mind, many people choose to wait a couple days to see if their UTI gets better without antibiotics especially since many UTIs go away on their own. If your symptoms dont start to improve after 2 to 3 days, you can always think about starting an antibiotic. This could be an especially good plan for people who are at risk for antibiotic-related complications, like older adults.
Of course, there are situations where you shouldnt hold off on antibiotics. It can be dangerous to postpone treatment if you have a severe infection or are in a high-risk group. If youre unsure whether to wait or to start antibiotics right away, talk to a provider about which plan is right for you.
Why Antibiotics Sometimes Dont Work
Most UTIs arent serious. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring.
Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least 3 days.
While this type of medication is the standard treatment, researchers are noticing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics in treating UTIs.
Some UTIs dont clear up after antibiotic therapy. When an antibiotic medication doesnt stop the bacteria from causing an infection, the bacteria continue to multiply.
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics is often the reason for antibiotic resistance. This can happen when the same antibiotic is prescribed over and over again for recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for ways to treat UTIs without antibiotics.
Some research has shown that UTIs can be treated without traditional antibiotics by targeting E. colis surface component for adhesion, FimH.
Typically, the urinary tract flushes away bacteria when you urinate. But according to researchers, FimH can cause E. coli to firmly attach to the cells in the urinary tract. And because of this tight grip, its hard for the body to naturally flush the bacteria from the urinary tract.
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