What Happens If An Antibiotic Doesn’t Work For A Urinary Tract Infection
Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for urinary tract infections , most of which are caused by a bacteria called Escherichia Coli . Infections of the lower urinary tract, which includes bladder infections , are the most common type of UTI and are usually treated with a 3-5 day course of antibiotics. Sometimes, however, the antibiotic prescribed to treat a bladder infection doesnt work.
If you suspect your antibiotic isnt working you should promptly contact your healthcare provider. Left untreated a UTI may become more serious and in rare cases cause permanent or life-threatening complications.
What Are Utis And Kidney Infections
UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract the urethra, bladder and kidneys. Normally, your body flushes out harmful bacteria with urine. However, sometimes bacteria can still travel inside and infect the urinary tract. Infections can develop after having sex, using vaginal douches or spermicides, or when the bladder doesnt empty.
Women get UTIs more frequently than men because a womans urethra is shorter than a mans, which allows bacteria to reach the bladder more easily. However, men can still get UTIs. People with diabetes and those with weakened immune systems may also be at higher risk for UTIs.
Kidney infections are a type of UTI. Most kidney infections occur when bacteria that infect the lower urinary tract travel to one or both kidneys. Kidney infections can be serious, and its important to treat them soon to avoid getting very sick.
UTIs cause pain or burning during urination. You may also have:
- Cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine
- Difficulty urinating
A kidney infection can also cause the symptoms listed above, as well as:
- Pain in the back, side or groin
Your doctor is ultimately the best person to decide if you have a UTI or kidney infection, Dr. Watson says. At your exam, discuss any ongoing symptoms, and your doctor will arrange for testing.
Doctors typically will order a urine test, which involves taking a small sample of urine and sending it to a laboratory to be analyzed for bacteria and white blood cells.
Protecting Yourself Against Stis:
- Use a condom. However, nothing is 100% safe. If youâre concerned you might have an STI, even after safe sex, check with your doctor.
At the clinic, your doctor may ask you questions like âDid you use a condom?â or âDid you have multiple sexual partners?â Its not so they can judge you. Itâs so they can organize what further tests you need. So, donât be shy or feel ashamed about your answers.
With a few minor changes, you can take good care of yourself. You can start making better health choices now by
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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.
When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
UTIs are uncomfortable, but theyre not an immediate medical emergency. Some people make the mistake of assuming the same is true with a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are serious conditions and they do require medical attention. Untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. These infections can also cause , which can lead to shock.
Because of this, a kidney infection can be fatal if it progresses. Its important to have it treated immediately by a healthcare professional.
Note that kidney stones, if untreated, can also cause a blockage that can lead to pyelonephritis and sepsis. This may require a procedure done with intravenous antibiotics by a urologist.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Contact your GP if you have a high temperature, persistent pain, or if you notice a change to your usual pattern of urination. Contact your GP immediately if you think your child may have a kidney infection.
If you have blood in your urine, you should always see your GP so the cause can be investigated.
Your GP can carry out some simple tests to help diagnose a kidney infection.
See diagnosing kidney infections for more information
Can Online Doctors Write Prescriptions For Kidney Infections
Yes, our doctors write prescriptions for kidney infections for patients who qualify. Antibiotics are the first line of kidney infection treatment. Common antibiotics for kidney infection that our doctors may prescribe if you qualify include: Amoxicillin, Bactrim, Cephalexin, Cipro, and Clindamycin.
Request medicine for kidney infection through an online medical consultation with a doctor here.
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How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
What Is A Uti Anyway
A UTI, or urinary tract infection, happens when bacteria enters into any part of your urinary system, which includes the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys or the uterus. If not flushed out of the system, the bacteria can lead to an infection, or a UTI.
If youve ever had a UTI , you probably havent forgotten the symptoms. UTIs are very unpleasant, to say the least, and are often accompanied with one or more of the following:
A burning sensation when urinating
A strong urge to urinate often, usually passing only small amounts of urine at a time.
Cloudy and/or strong smelling urine
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How Will I Know If I Have A Kidney Infection
To find out if you have a kidney infection, doctors may do tests such as:
- Urine tests to look for bacteria or other signs of infection, such as white blood cells, in your urine
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests to look at your kidneys, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- Rectal exam for men, where the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the anus to see if the prostate gland is enlarged and blocks the flow of urine
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Chlamydia Trachomatis Infection
KARL E. MILLER, M.D., University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Am Fam Physician. 2006 Apr 15 73:1411-1416.
Chlamydia trachomatis infection most commonly affects the urogenital tract. In men, the infection usually is symptomatic, with dysuria and a discharge from the penis. Untreated chlamydial infection in men can spread to the epididymis. Most women with chlamydial infection have minimal or no symptoms, but some develop pelvic inflammatory disease. Chlamydial infection in newborns can cause ophthalmia neonatorum. Chlamydial pneumonia can occur at one to three months of age, manifesting as a protracted onset of staccato cough, usually without wheezing or fever. Treatment options for uncomplicated urogenital infections include a single 1-g dose of azithromycin orally, or doxycycline at a dosage of 100 mg orally twice per day for seven days. The recommended treatment during pregnancy is erythromycin base or amoxicillin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend screening for chlamydial infection in women at increased risk of infection and in all women younger than 25 years.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Azithromycin or doxycycline is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated genitourinary chlamydial infection.
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What Is A Complicated Uti
When a complicated UTI occurs, there is a greater chance of the infection entering the kidneys, and there is an increased risk of typical treatments and therapies failing to cure the infection.
Medication Options For Kidney Infection
Your doctor will decide what antibiotic to prescribe, and for how long, based on your symptoms and the results of your urine tests. Your doctor may start you on one medication right away, but change it later if your urine test results indicate that a different antibiotic will be more effective.
Drugs taken by mouth for kidney infection include:
All of these drugs and others may be considered for IV treatment if you need to be hospitalized for a severe kidney infection.
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How Can I Treat A Kidney Infection At Home
Treating kidney infection solely at home or with natural remedies is not a good idea. However, several home remedies can help manage the pain while the infection is treated with antibiotics. These include drinking water, using a heating pad to reduce pain, and taking over-the-counter acetaminophen to manage both pain and fever.
Why Should I Take The Full Dose
Antibiotics work well against UTIs. You might start to feel better after being on the medicine for just a few days.
But even so, keep taking your medicine. If you stop your antibiotics too soon, you wonât kill all the bacteria in your urinary tract.
These germs can become resistant to antibiotics. That means the meds will no longer kill these bugs in the future. So if you get another UTI, the medication you take might not treat it. Take the full course of your medicine to make sure all the bacteria are dead.
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Antibiotics For Complicated Utis: What Drugs Do Doctors Prescribe For A Kidney Infection
A urinary tract infection can leave patients feeling drained and unwell, with even just the pain and burning sensation weighing down and causing fatigue. With a complicated UTI, the additional symptoms and difficulties faced can really affect everyday life. Many times, a complicated UTI goes beyond the typical bladder infection and enters the kidneys, meaning that its even more important to see a doctor and get the antibiotics required to kill the infection.
What About Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance rates for antibiotics are always variable based on local patterns in the community and specific risk factors for patients, such as recent antibiotic use, hospital stay or travel. If you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled internationally, be sure to tell your doctor.
High rates of antibiotic resistance are being seen with both ampicillin and amoxicillin for cystitis , although amoxicillin/clavulanate may still be an option. Other oral treatments with reported increasing rates of resistance include sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and the fluoroquinolones. Resistance rates for the oral cephalosporins and amoxicillin/clavulanate are still usually less than 10 percent.
Always finish taking your entire course of antibiotic unless your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore.
If you stop your treatment early, your infection may return quickly and you can develop resistance to the antibiotic you were using previously. Your antibiotic may not work as well the next time you use it.
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Diagnosing A Kidney Infection
The physician could also order a blood test, which can determine if there are bacteria and other substances in the body that point to the possibility of a kidney infection. In addition, imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasounds, and certain types of x-rays are administered to come to a conclusion regarding the possibility of a kidney infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few hours or so, and may include:
- Pain in a loin or flank. .
- High temperature which may cause shivers.
- Feeling sick and/or being sick .
- Blood in the urine.
- There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection – for example, pain on passing urine, and going to the toilet often.
Not all of the symptoms may develop, and sometimes a kidney infection can just cause vague symptoms. For example, just feeling generally unwell but not being able to say why.
In older people a kidney infection may cause confusion. This is why a urine test is often done when an elderly person suddenly becomes confused or appears generally unwell.
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How Are Kidney Infections Treated
A physician will treat the disease based on his or her examination. He or she may start the patient on the standard treatment of a course of antibiotics before the lab tests results are available. The medication may change once the exact strain of bacteria is revealed by the lab tests.
If the treatment is effective, the patient should feel better in two to three days. If not, your healthcare provider will start looking for additional problems. Most antibiotic treatments last for 14 days and it is essential that patients take the pills as recommended for the full 14 days even though symptoms may disappear after a few days. The disappearance of symptoms does not mean all bacteria are killed. Some may remain and the infection may reappear.
There is also a concern that those bacteria that remain may develop resistance to the medication. For some reason the disease is more difficult to treat in men and they may have to take medication for up to six weeks. Patients with severe illness, those that have significant nausea and vomiting, high fevers, significant pain and signs of dehydration may be hospitalized for a few days while the antibiotics are administered intravenously. Urine samples are taken after about six weeks of treatment and examined to insure the bacterial infection is eradicated.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent A Kidney Infection
When it comes to preventing a kidney infection, its all about preventing UTIs that affect your urethra and bladder. Here are some ways you can help avoid an infection:
- Wipe from front to back. For women, this ensures bacteria from your anus doesnt enter your urethra.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush the urinary tract.
- Dont hold it. Use the bathroom when you need to go.
- Avoid using spermicide and diaphragms, and choose another form of birth control, such as lubricated condoms.
- Use the bathroom after sex to reduce bacteria that colonizes the urethra. There is no convincing data that it is effective, but it isnt harmful, Dr. Sussman added.
- Postmenopausal women who develop recurrent cystitis may benefit from vaginal estrogen to reduce vaginal dryness.
- Dont rely on over-the-counter remedies to treat your UTI, like cranberry juice or D-Mannose, to prevent a UTI or kidney infection. Several studies have shown no benefit with cranberry supplements or juice, Dr. Sussman said.
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Consume Apples And Apple Juice
Apples are also nutrient-dense. Their high acid content may help the kidneys maintain acidity in the urine, possibly inhibiting further growth of bacteria.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial in helping the kidneys heal following the infection.
What Should I Do If My Antibiotic Doesnt Work For My Urinary Tract Infection
If your symptoms dont improve within a couple of days or get worse after starting an antibiotic you should contact your healthcare provider. A different antibiotic, a longer course of antibiotics or another treatment may be required. A physical exam or urine sample may be required.
When you have a UTI its important to:
- Only take an antibiotic that has been prescribed for you
- Take the antibiotic exactly as instructed by your healthcare provider and finish the full course of treatment even if you feel better
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids
- Urinate or pee regularly
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