Saturday, July 13, 2024

What To Do If Uti Doesn T Respond To Antibiotics

Can You Test For Interstitial Cystitis

Antibiotics not helping your UTI symptoms?

At a certain point, when UTI tests fail to identify a bacterial cause for symptoms, a diagnosis of recurrent UTI is escalated to IC for many individuals.

We know standard UTI testing methods are inaccurate. So there is a good chance a significant number of people are misdiagnosed with IC after receiving a false-negative on their test results. They may have an infection that testing has simply failed to pick up.

I was told my urine culture was negative, and I therefore didnt have an infection. I was subsequently diagnosed with IC, but occasionally, during a symptoms flare, I would be culture positive. Eventually I pursued better testing, and found Id probably had an infection the whole time. Im slowly recovering, with treatment, and Im glad I didnt accept my diagnosis in the end.

A number of researchers now believe many cases of Interstitial Cystitis may indeed be caused by bacteria that standard UTI testing has failed to identify.

Read more about Interstitial Cystitis and chronic infection testing and treatment in a dedicated section from our interview with Ruth Kriz.

If you have received inconclusive or negative test results, despite symptoms of a UTI, we encourage you to keep pushing for an answer. Seek better testing and find a practitioner who is willing to work with you.

How Do I Know If My Particular Strain Of Uti Is Resistant To A Particular Drug

The only way is to get a urine culture. The lab results will identify the germ and what would be effective in treating the infection. But it can take several days to get the results.

Most patients want an immediate prescription so doctors usually make a best-guess determination of what drug will work given a patients symptoms and history.

The importance of history cannot be overstated if you have had a previous U.T.I., a previous resistant U.T.I., or have traveled outside the country, your history can help a doctor decide which drug to use.

Increasingly, experts tell us that you should ask for a culture when you go in for a U.T.I. treatment, even if you get an immediate prescription. The culture will allow a doctor to change the drug if the first one does not work.

That said, there is an important catch about when to do a urine culture. Often, it will show bacteria in the bladder even when an infection is not present. Some amount of bacteria is normal. The Infection Disease Society of America cautions doctors against doing cultures when symptoms of a U.T.I. are not present. The culture likely presence of bacteria can then lead to prescription of unnecessary antibiotics, contributing to the rise of resistance through overuse of the drugs.

Finally, some U.T.I.s, even when there are symptoms, can clear up on their own. This is one of many reasons to seek the care of an informed professional.

Things You Can Do Yourself

To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :

  • takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
  • rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
  • avoid having sex

Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. But there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.

Recommended Reading: Antibiotic Ear Drops For Swimmer’s Ear

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.

What Happens If An Antibiotic Doesn’t Work For A Urinary Tract Infection

How To Get Rid Of Male 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.

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Acne Without Antibiotics

Hormones Utis And Yeast Infections

I also stopped taking the contraceptive pill, forever.

This is emphasized because quitting the pill felt momentous at the time. I had been on the pill since I was 16. Not for contraception then, but because I had periods so heavy I ended up severely anemic and required treatment.

Later, the pill became convenient for other reasons. I didnt want to worry about irregular, heavy periods, but I also didnt want to get pregnant, so the pill allowed me to live a life fairly free from those concerns.

My problems with the pill started around the same time as my recurrent urinary tract infections. The antibiotics I was taking meant my gut and vaginal flora took a serious hit. Despite being on the pill, my cycle had become unpredictable.

A gynecologist I saw suggested the pill I was on just wasnt right for me and prescribed me another, then another. They didnt help, and my unpredictable cycles continued.

Soon, I began suffering from skin sensitivities and itchiness that drove me crazy.

Donât Miss: Where Can I Buy Antibiotics

How Long Does It Take To Cure A Uti With Antibiotics

How long it takes to fully cure a UTI with antibiotics depends on the severity of the infection, the location of the infection, and how well your immune system functions. The following are rough estimates for treatment time:

  • Lower UTI in otherwise healthy women: 3 to 7 days of antibiotics
  • Lower UTI in otherwise healthy men: 7 to 14 days of antibiotics
  • Lower UTI in people with diabetes or who are immunocompromised: 7 to 14 days of antibiotics
  • Lower UTI in otherwise healthy pregnant women: 7 to 14 days of antibiotics
  • Mild kidney infection in otherwise healthy people: 7 to 14 days of antibiotics
  • Severe kidney infection: may take 14 days of antibiotics or longer and could require hospitalization

Read Also: Do Antibiotics Lower Your Immune System

Action To Take When You Get A Negative Test

If your test comes back negative, but you still have symptoms, the conclusion should be that further investigation is needed, NOT that the symptoms are not indicative of an infection.

If a urine dipstick or lab test comes back negative but the patient is clearly describing symptoms of a UTI, doctors must listen to them. Urine tests are far from perfect and it is vital to interpret them in the context of the patients symptoms.

If your UTI test is negative, it could very well be that the test is wrong.

First, it pays to understand why a test may be negative, despite your symptoms. Discussing this with your doctor will be more fruitful if you know what youre talking about.

So weve gone into this in great detail in our UTI testing section.

Second, you should be aware that medical practitioners rely on guidelines to guide their decisions. Unfortunately, most guidelines used by medical practitioners do not cover the inaccuracies of current UTI testing methods.

This means it is entirely possible your doctor has no knowledge of the issues with standard testing, and may not recommend investigating further. If youd like to share a reference with your doctor, one set of guidelines that does cover the issues with standard UTI testing is from the American Urogynecological Society.

Alternatively, you can look into private, independent testing or seek out a practitioner that specializes in chronic urinary tract conditions.

Sooowhat Happens If A Uti Gets Worse

Is It Safe To Treat A UTI Without Antibiotics? Dr. Ashley Girard, N.D. (Part 2)

There are a few reasons why your UTI might not improve, the first being that you stop taking your antibiotics. Survivor bacteria that have been exposed to a short course of antibiotics will evolve to resist that antibiotic, explains Dr. Kaufman. That means the infection will no longer respond to the medication, making it much tougher to get rid of the UTI.

If you have more than two UTIs in six months or three in one year, docs will typically recommend you get a cystoscopy or CT scan to look inside the bladder and make sure there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be there .

That brings us to another reason your UTI could be getting worse: It might *not* be a standard UTI and is actually a more serious kidney infection that requires emergency care. This can occur when bladder infections are left untreated, Dr. Mueller says.

Symptoms of a more severe kidney infection can include:

Recommended Reading: Can I Get A Yeast Infection From Antibiotics

Urinary Tract Infections Dont Always Respond To Antibiotics Anymore Thanks To Drug Resistance

  • Copy article linkCopy link

That itch, that burn, constantly feeling like you have to pee a lot of people are familiar with the symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

Its a very common medical complaint, said Dr. David Patrick, an infectious disease specialist and acting lead of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Its even, he said, the second-most-frequent reason women are prescribed antibiotics, behind respiratory infections.

The problem is, those antibiotics dont always work.

The bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, like other bacteria, are becoming resistant to some of the drugs once used to treat them.

Data from LifeLabs, a Canadian company that does medical laboratory testing, shows that in Toronto, only about 58 per cent of E. coli infections the bacteria responsible for the vast majority of UTIs are susceptible to the antibiotic Ampicillin.

The antibiotic Septra was about 77 per cent effective, and Ciprofloxacin worked in about 85 per cent of cases, according to the LifeLabs data from 2018. Dr. Kevin Schwartz, an infectious disease physician at Public Health Ontario, said:

I would say that almost all urinary tract infections are resistant to at least one type of antibiotic.

Read next: COVID-19 in China: Expert says 80% of population have been infected

That means that doctors might have to try more than one drug before they find something that works well on a patients infection.

WATCH: Nightmare bacteria spreading across U.S.

An Ounce Of Prevention

Unfortunately, most UTIs are not completely preventable, and are caused by differences in the structure or function of the urinary tract and immune system. But there are things you can do to keep healthy. For example, stay hydrated to increase urine production and flush out unwanted bacterial intruders. Good hygiene is also important, but scrubbing away at delicate genital tissues can damage them and create portals for bacteria. Clean your genital area gently with mild soap and water. Postmenopausal women may benefit from vaginal estrogen cream. Finally, eating cranberries and urinating after having sex havent been proven to have major benefits, but arent likely to hurt, either.

Follow me on Twitter@lisa_xpond

About the Author

Lisa Bebell, MD, Contributor

Recommended Reading: When Do I Need Antibiotics For A Sinus Infection

Uti Won’t Go Away After Two Weeks And Two Different Courses Of Antibiotics


Hi everyone,

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m miserable. I can’t sleep at night, I can’t study, I can’t do anything productive. Since February 27 of this year, I got a UTI infection. I went to the doctor and the urine analysis showed I had an E. coli infection. The doctor prescribed me Macrobid for 5-7 days . On the last day of that antibiotic, I still felt symptoms so I went to a doctor again. They ran a urine test in the office, which showed I still had blood in my urine. He prescribed me Cipro. I’ve been taking 500mg of Cipro twice daily for 7 days now. Today is the 7th day and I still have symptoms.

I always feel the urge to pee. It is so bad I cannot sleep at night. I went to the emergency room in the hospital yesterday and they did nothing but refer me to a urologist. The problem is, the urologist hasn’t called me yet and their office isn’t picking up my calls. I’m afraid it will take so long for me to make an appointment. I don’t know how I can live like this. Like I said, I am absolutely miserable. I feel horrible. I can’t stand how I feel.

What can I do?

I’ve also tried D-Mannose powder and it isn’t working.

0 likes, 32 replies

  • Posted 4 years ago

    A UTI can be so very difficult to get rid of. I started out like you and never got the proper antibiotics. That eventually caused me chronic uti grief for years. See the Urologist for help and it will definitely be worth it! Follow the antibiotic instructions exactly as prescribed. Good luck.

  • Who Is At Risk From Antibiotic

    Is My Back Pain a Medical Condition?: Pinnacle Pain and Spine ...

    Those at greatest risk of antibiotic resistant infections are often those with other underlying medical conditions, have weakened immune systems either due to illness or as a side-effect of current treatment. Those often affected have already been taking antibiotics or have been in hospital. Older people, such as those in care facilities or those undergoing catheterisation may also be affected by ongoing or recurrent resistant UTIs.

    The biggest risk is that untreated or resistant infections can lead to kidney problems or even more serious conditions like sepsis . However, it is also very difficult living with the ongoing symptoms of recurring or antibiotic resistant UTIs.

    Read Also: How To Rebuild Microbiome After Antibiotics

    Which Uti Antibiotics Are Resistant

    High rates of antibiotic resistance have been seen with drugs in the penicillin class, such as amoxicillin and ampicillin, some sulfonamides like sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim , and the fluoroquinolone antibiotics .

    Antibiotic resistance can be specific to local patterns in the community. Tell your doctor if you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled out of the country. If needed, your doctor can perform a culture and sensitivity test to see which antibiotic might work best for your infection.

    Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore, unless your doctor tells you to stop. Only partially finishing your antibiotic may increase your risk of antibiotic resistance and your infection may return quickly.

    What Can I Do To Avoid Getting A Uti In The First Place

    Women are more susceptible to U.T.I.s, as they are commonly known, owing to the way these germs infect: They often travel through fecal residue from the rectum to the urethra this can happen through sex or poor bathroom hygiene. Even taking great care does not make them entirely avoidable.

    Here are some steps that can help prevent urinary tract infections: Drink plenty of fluids, which helps flush out the bladder. Empty your bladder after sexual intercourse. Practice good bathroom hygiene, which, simply put, means wiping from front to back.

    During the reproductive years, women are as much as 50 times more likely than men to get a U.T.I. However, those numbers even out significantly in an aging population because men wind up getting surgical procedures, or have bowel control issues, that might lead to the same spread of germs from gut and rectum to the urinary tract.

    Don’t Miss: Oral Antibiotics For Leg Ulcers

    Pearls And Other Issues

    Diagnostic Pitfalls

    Urinary tract infections are primarily a clinical diagnosis, and expert opinion should be sought before initiating treatment of an isolated positive result in an otherwise asymptomatic patient, the only exception being asymptomatic bacteria.

    Quite often, clinicians end up treating the positive culture report rather than a genuine urinary tract infection. Most often, positive culture in an asymptomatic patient can be traced to a poor sampling technique.

    Another confusing scenario is that of septic, delirious, elderly patient who is unable to provide a history or demonstrate adequate examination signs to help localize a septic source. Quite frequently, these patients are treated as having a presumed UTI in the absence of a clear alternative septic source.

    UTI associated radiological changes can sometimes take several months to resolve and must be interpreted with care in cases of recurrent or persistent infections.

    UTI must be considered as a differential diagnosis when evaluating a patient with a pelvic inflammatory disease or an acute abdomen.

    Male patients with a urinary tract infection must also be screened for sexually transmitted infections.

    Interstitial cystitis is frequently misdiagnosed and treated as a UTI, and must be considered as an alternative diagnosis in patients who keep presenting with cystitis symptoms without positive cultures.

    Management Pitfalls

    Also Check: Can I Get A Refill On Antibiotics

    What Happens If I Have A Multidrug

    Top Remedies for a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection: Updated)

    Some strains of bacteria are now resistant to all of the most commonly used antibiotics. When UTIs recur or dont go away with treatment, urine samples are usually tested at a microbiology lab. If resistant organisms are discovered they are often found to be ESBL E. coli or ESBL Klebsiella. If you have a UTI with either of these resistant bacteria, you will probably be treated in hospital by an infectious disease doctor and their team. They will often prescribe a specific antibiotic via an intravenous drip known to be active against ESBL- producing bacteria. This might be carbapenem antibiotic. These are considered last resort antibiotics which are kept especially for those highly resistant bacterial infections.

    If you have an antibiotic-resistant UTI, youre not alone. There are many different support groups online where people suffering with resistant UTIs can help one another.

    Don’t Miss: Triple Antibiotic Ointment For Stye

    Popular Articles
    Related news