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.
Extended Course Oral Antibiotics
In a recently published ten-year patient led UK clinical study at the Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Clinic within the Whittington Hospital London, 624 women were recruited and treated with high-dose narrow spectrum, first generation antibiotics alongside the urinary antiseptic Methenamine Hipurate following unique urine microscopy. This protocol led to a significant reduction of symptoms in 64% of participants with a further 20% feeling very much better. The study noted: The median number of patient visits was five , with 40% of women discharged after four visits and 80% within ten. Mean treatment length was 383 days. Some patients required long-term therapy, as attempts to withdraw treatment were associated with relapse. Others were treated successfully but requested long-term monitoring due to anxieties about disease recurrence.
How Does The Doctor Decide Which Antibiotics To Prescribe For My Uti
There are three factors your doctor considers when they are deciding on an antibiotic, according to Dr. Rajan.
First, they need to make sure the medication they select will target the area thats affected. For a UTI, your bladder is the organ that needs the TLC. Second, your docs will check for what they call the local resistance pattern in your town or city.
Theres always a little bit of variation in the kinds of bacteria in a region, explains Santiago. That bacteria becomes more resistant to certain medications and those patterns are different from area to area. So, you may know that in the local area, a lot of women are coming in with a urinary tract infection and maybe a certain drug isnt really working for them, and they really need another one instead because of the strain that were seeing.
Your care team will also consider your medical history, like whether youre allergic to penicillin, or if you are predisposed to certain bacterial infections. If cost is a concern, your physician may even be able to find a treatment that fits your budget or is supported by your insurance, says Santiago.
The most commonly used antibiotics for UTIs include:
Make sure to ask your doctor which one they have prescribed you, so that you know what you are taking.
When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they might have a UTI, they should speak with a doctor for advice on the best way to treat the possible infection.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary to treat UTIs, but it is still important to seek medical attention for any suspected infection. This will reduce the risk of a more severe infection developing that is harder to treat.
The signs and symptoms of UTIs include:
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
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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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.
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.
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Other Tips That Can Help In Managing Uti In Males
- Drink at least 7-8 glasses of water every day. This helps in passing the toxins along with the urine.
- Drink cranberry juice without adding any extra sugar. Fresh cranberry juice removes the bacteria from the lining of the tract. These harmful bacteria get out of the body through urine.
- Have probiotic products such as yogurt. Probiotics promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut which kill the infection-causing bacteria.
- Increase your consumption of vitamin C. Especially, citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C. Apart from citrus fruits, oranges, kiwi, and red peppers contain high amounts of vitamin C .
- Maintain proper hygiene of your genital area and follow good bathroom habits.
- Make sure that you do not hold the urge to pass urine for long as it increases the chances of UTI.
- You can also take the help of natural supplements of garlic and cranberry.
These are some simple yet effective tips that will allow you to get rid of UTI faster. Dont forget to discuss them once with your doctor, so that you receive the right treatment.
How Common Are Utis
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 20% of women will experience a UTI at some point in their life. Of those, one in five will have a second UTI, and 30% of that narrowed group will have a third. Additionally, 80% of women who have three UTIs will have repeat infections after that.
Men also experience UTIs, but far less frequently. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be sexually active to get a UTI, although it does increase your likelihood as intercourse can facilitate the spread of bacteria.
Why Are Utis So Bad For Elderly
Why are seniors at risk for UTIs? Men and women older than 65 are at greater risk for UTIs. This is because both men and women tend to have more problems emptying their bladder completely as they age, causing bacteria to develop in the urinary system.
Bottom Line: Seek Treatment For A Uti Immediately
Antibiotics can be really powerful when it comes to treating urinary tract infectionsespecially when they are caught early. Untreated UTIs can lead to kidney infections and other serious complications. So, when you feel like you have one, go see your primary care doctor as soon as you can, and talk about which treatment would be best for you.
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Can I Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
UTI treatment without antibiotics is NOT usually recommended. An early UTI, such as a bladder infection , can worsen over time, leading to a more severe kidney infection . However, a small study has suggested early, mild UTIs might clear up on their own. It’s always best to check with your doctor if you are having UTI symptoms.
Pregnant women should always see a doctor as soon as possible if they suspect they might have a UTI, as this can lead to a greater risk of delivering a low birth weight or premature infant.
How Long Do You Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
Antibiotics are typically prescribed for 3-7 days. The course may be extended or the prescription may change if the initial course fails to treat the infection.
For antibiotic therapy to be effective, you need to take the drugs as instructed. Many times, symptoms may seem to resolve before you complete the entire course of antibiotics. However, avoid discontinuing the course of treatment and continue to take the doses as prescribed.
If you are a female and suffer from frequent UTIs, your doctor may ask you to:
- Take a single dose of antibiotic after intercourse
- Take low-dose antibiotics for up to 5 months
- Undergo vaginal estrogen therapy if you are menopausal
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Most Common Bacteria That Cause Utis
Based on a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the bacteria most commonly associated with causing UTIs are:
- Escherichia coli
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Based on the symptoms the patient is experiencing and before any testing is done to officially determine the infection type, the doctor prescribes first line antibiotics. For most UTIs, the prescribed antibiotic will cure the infection and not require any further testing.
Why Extended Courses Of Antibiotics Rather Than The Use Of Prophylaxis
Elsewhere on this site, we have discussed how a chronic infection develops and the issue of biofilm infections or embedded persister cells within the bladder wall. These types of infections mean that an extended approach to treatment is needed.
The thinking behind this extended regime is that bacteria which do emerge from a biofilm or from embedded bladder wall cells can be targeted and eradicated before they are able to reattach to the bladder wall forming new communities of infection. However, a biofilm in itself, presents a particular challenge because of its ability to evade penetrating antimicrobial therapies. No low dose, short course of antibiotics will successfully challenge a biofilm once established. The UK patient led study mentioned above, demonstrated that antibiotic treatment is needed for often over a year and some patients require medication for a much longer period. The clinicians took a long-term targeted approach to biofilms and the issue of persister cells deep in the bladder wall which can lie dormant for months or even years. If these persisters begin to multiply then they recognised that there is a need for ongoing antibiotic management at an appropriate dose.
Prophylaxis or preventative antibiotic treatment can lead to eventual antimicrobial resistance because of:
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What Is The Incubation Period For E Coli
The time between ingesting the STEC bacteria and feeling sick is called the incubation period. The incubation period is usually 3-4 days after the exposure, but may be as short as 1 day or as long as 10 days. The symptoms often begin slowly with mild belly pain or non-bloody diarrhea that worsens over several days.
Principles And Method Of Guideline Update
This guideline was developed based on domestic and foreign clinical guidelines that could be referred to during the development period as well as recently published literature. This guideline may be subject to revisions if new antibiotic treatments for UTIs are developed or if important changes in the antibiotic resistance of causative bacteria of UTIs occur.
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Patients For Whom The Guideline Is Applicable
This guideline is on the use of antibiotics for community-acquired UTIs affecting patients aged 18 years or older. The guideline targets asymptomatic bacteriuria, acute uncomplicated cystitis, acute uncomplicated pyelonephritis, complicated pyelonephritis related to urinary tract obstruction, and acute bacterial prostatitis. Hospital-acquired infections that occurred 48 hours after hospital admission or catheter-associated UTIs were excluded. Patients with UTIs who were diabetic, were immunosuppressed, or had other underlying chronic illnesses, and were thus associated with complex factors aside from urinary tract obstruction, were also excluded from the target patient group of this guideline.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you have ever experienced the frequent urge to go the bathroom with painful and burning urination, you have probably experienced a urinary tract infection . UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, accounting for over 10 million visits to health care providers each year. Roughly 40% of women experience a UTI at some time, and in women, it is the most common infection. Healthcare costs related to UTIs exceed $1.6 billion per year.
A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along your urinary tract, which includes the kidneys , the ureters , the bladder , or the urethra . Most UTIs occur in the bladder and urethra. Common symptoms include frequent need to urinate, burning while urinating, and pain in lower abdomen area.
There are different types of UTIs based on where the bacteria goes. A lower urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra and is deposited up into the bladder — this is called cystitis. Infections that get past the bladder and up into the kidneys are called pyelonephritis.
Urinary tract infection symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning upon urination
- A frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or or pink-stained urine
- Urines that looks cloudy
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pain, cramping in the pelvis or pubic bone area, especially in women
Upper UTIs which include the kidney may also present with symptoms of fever, chills, back or side pain, and nausea or vomiting.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Urinary Tract Infection Utis
In most cases, the best treatment for a urinary tract infection is a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescription medications that kill bacteria that cause the infection.
Which antibiotics are prescribed depend on the type of bacteria responsible for the UTI, which can be detected via a urine culture and sensitivity test.
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
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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:
Information Sources And Search Strategies For Identification Of Studies
This meta-analysis was performed in accordance to the PRISMA 2020 statement . Three independent reviewers performed a systematic search and evaluation of randomized-controlled trials on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infection published from inception up to April 2021, in the following scientific search engines: PUBMED, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and ACP Journal Club. The search strategy used was AND . Unpublished trials and ongoing studies in national and international trial registers , dissertation and thesis databases, conference abstracts and other grey literature sources were also sought in the relevant search. The comprehensive search was not restricted by any language or publication date filter.
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