Cautions With Other Medicines
There are some medicines that do not mix well with nitrofurantoin.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking these medicines before you start nitrofurantoin treatment:
- indigestion remedies known as antacids, particularly those that contain magnesium
- certain medicines for gout, including probenecid or sulfinpyrazone
- cystitis remedies you can buy from a pharmacy
- antibiotics known as quinolones, including nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin and moxifloxacin
Typhoid vaccine given by mouth may not work properly if you’re taking nitrofurantoin. This does not apply to typhoid vaccines given by injection.
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
Do I Really Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
In most cases, it makes sense to start antibiotics if you know you have a bacterial UTI since this is the only way to treat it.
While it is possible for a UTI to go away on its own, this doesnt always happen. Plus, youll still have to deal with uncomfortable UTI symptoms like pain during urination while waiting to see if the UTI will go away. And if it doesnt, the infection can travel up your urinary tract and cause a more serious infection in your kidneys called pyelonephritis. If youre pregnant, have underlying health conditions, or are older than 65 years old, you should not try to treat a UTI without antibiotics.
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What Is A Uti
Before we talk about the antibiotics that treat UTIs, lets discuss what the medications are targeting.
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, refer to a group of infections that can happen anywhere along the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladders, and urethra. Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs because bacteria often cause themEscherichia coli is the type of bacteria notoriously famous for causing most UTIs.
Most germs that cause these infections typically live on the skin in unharmful numbers, especially in areas like the vaginal folds. However, once in the urinary tract, they can multiply to unsafe colony numbers and cause symptoms .
UTI symptoms include: burning during urination, needing to pee frequently, lower abdominal pain or cramping, blood in your urine, and feeling the need to urinate even if you just went to the bathroom.
What Causes Interstitial Cystitis
The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is not clear. Unlike other types of cystitis, theres no obvious infection in the bladder and antibiotics do not help.
In some people with the condition, the bladder is inflamed, ulcerated, scarred or stiff.
There are several theories about the possible cause of the condition.
- damage to the bladder lining, which may mean pee can irritate the bladder and surrounding muscles and nerves
- a problem with the pelvic floor muscles used to control peeing
- your immune system mistakenly attacking your bladder
- an allergic reaction
Its also been suggested that interstitial cystitis may be a symptom of a more widespread problem, as its been associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome , irritable bowel syndrome and lupus.
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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.
Best Antibiotics For Utis
A UTI is a common infection of the urinary tract that can affect the kidneys, urethra, bladder, or ureters. They are often caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, which then multiplies in the bladder. In addition, UTIs can also be caused by viral infections. Your doctor may request special testing if they believe you have a viral UTI, as they are treated with antivirals, not antibiotics. If you have a bacterial UTI, the best course of treatment would be antibiotics.
Dr. David Beatty, a general practitioner for over 30 years, provided insight for this article. Dr. Beatty noted that in an ideal situation, a urine culture is performed to see the specific bacteria causing an infection. A physician can then determine the perfect antibiotic for killing the bacteria. In cases without urine cultures, which happens most often, the following is taken into consideration:
- Severity of illness
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Recurrent Utis And Further Testing
If youre experiencing recurrent UTIs, your doctor may want to get a better look to rule out the possibility of an obstruction. Exams used in these instances include:
- An abdominal ultrasound, which uses ultrasound waves to produce an image of your urinary tract
- IVP, or an X-ray image of your urinary tract enhanced by dye
- A CT scan, which takes precise, detailed pictures of your urinary tract
- Cystoscopy, where your physician inserts a tiny camera via your urethra so he or she can examine the bladder and/or get a tissue sample
UTIs are considered recurrent if you experience three infections within a 12-month period or two within six months.
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How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can get affordable UTI treatment with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms using our AI-driven symptom checker and, if needed, text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths board-certified, U.S.-based doctors can provide a treatment plan and, if required, a prescription to resolve your symptoms as soon as possible.
Antibiotics To Treat A Uti For Children
Children are another group susceptible to UTIs. These infections in children are fairly common, but their symptoms may present differently than in adults. If you believe your child has a UTI, they need to see a doctor immediately. The UTI will not go away on its own. Dr. Beatty recommends a child should take nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim if they have a lower tract UTI. Those with an upper tract UTI should take cephalexin.
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Antibiotics That Shouldn’t Be A First Choice For Uncomplicated Utis
Other antibiotics appear to be overused, and some physicians may misuse non-recommended antibiotics as first-line treatments. Ciprofloxacin is used in 35% of uncomplicated UTIs, while levofloxacin is used in 2%. These antibiotics can be important treatments in some cases of more complicated UTIs, but can have dangerous side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the use of these drugs should be restricted because of their potentially disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. Additionally, in many parts of the country, bacteria commonly causing UTIs are becoming resistant to these antibiotics.
Treatment Length For All Utis
No matter what kind of bacterial infection you have and where its located, the best antibiotic treatment for UTI is generally the shortest one. This is to lower your odds of developing antibiotic resistance and to decrease your risk of a yeast infection or infectious diarrhea.
Still, its imperative that you take all the antibiotics prescribed, even after symptoms subside. Most UTIs resolve within three to 10 days. Stopping your antibiotics early, before the drugs eliminate all bacteria, can create a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, too.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections With Diet And Supplements
It is possible to reduce the chance that a UTI will develop with dietary methods and some supplements but prevention of all UTIs is unlikely with these methods. Supplements such as eating cranberries, taking vitamin C tablets, and eating yogurt and other substances also may reduce the chance that a UTI will develop . However, as stated in the prevention section, changes in a person’s lifestyle may reduce the chance getting a UTI as good as, if not better than, any diet or supplement.
Is It Possible To Prevent Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections With A Vaccine
Currently, there are no commercially available vaccines for UTIs, either recurrent or first-time infections. One of the problems in developing a vaccine is that so many different organisms can cause infection a single vaccine would be difficult to synthesize to cover them all. Even with E. coli causing about most infections, the subtle changes in antigenic structures that vary from strain to strain further complicates vaccine development even for E. coli. Researchers are still investigating ways to overcome the problems in UTI vaccine development.
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What Uti Antibiotics Are There
You cant pick an antibiotic on your own, because they are prescription drugs. When your doctor chooses an antibiotic to treat your UTI, shell try to weigh the expected effectiveness of the drug against its possible side effects. If you only have mild symptoms and the bacteria can easily be eradicated, the doctor will try to minimize side effect risk. In the U.S. market the following FDA-approved antibiotics are available for treating UTI:
Now you know the most common UTI antibiotics. Your doctor will help you choose the best treatment option for your specific UTI case. Aside from considering the intensity level of your UTI and the side effects, another consideration that is becoming increasingly important is bacterias drug resistance against UTI.
In many U.S. hospitals its common now to test which bacteria strain is causing the UTI in order to assign the antibiotic that works most effectively against it, i.e., that the bacteria is the least resistant against. The NYC Department of Health even launched a mobile app that allows doctors to view a list of UTI strains and which antibiotics they are resistant to. So, when you suffer from an UTI, make sure to ask your doctor to test the bacteria strain. That will ensure that the most appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed to you.
Are There Natural At
Yes. While taking antibiotics is still considered the gold standard of UTI treatments, there are some things you can do at home that help relieve symptoms, as well. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily can help flush away UTI-causing bacteria, setting you up for a quicker recovery. Plus, the more you drink, the more youll have to urinate.
- Urinate often. Each time you empty your bladder, youre helping to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Try heat. Applying a heating pad to your pubic area for 15 minutes at a time can help soothe the pressure and pain caused by UTI-related inflammation and irritation.
- Tweak your wardrobe. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear can help you recover from a UTI.
- Go fragrance-free. Make sure your personal hygiene products are fragrance-free to sidestep further irritation, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- Cut out certain irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine can further irritate your bladder, making it more difficult for your body to heal, per the Cleveland Clinic.
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What About Cranberry Juice For Uti
Its a long-held belief that consuming cranberry juice may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. While its true that cranberries contain an active ingredient that can prevent adherence of bacteria to the urinary tract, there is still no evidence that cranberry products can treat a UTI.
One of the reasons: Products like cranberry juice or cranberry capsules are not explicitly formulated with the same amount of PACs that have shown potential in lab studies. Moreover, a 2019 report in the Journal of Urology noted that the availability of such products to the public is a severe limitation to the use of cranberries for UTI prophylaxis outside the research setting.
In all, theres actually very little high-quality research on the topic of prevention. For instance, a 2016 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that among female nursing home residents, daily consumption of cranberry capsules resulted in no significant prevention of UTIs.
While consuming cranberry juice or supplements is not considered a first-line treatment of urinary tract infections, in most cases, it cant hurt. After all, drinking plenty of liquids does dilute your urine and help spur more frequent urination, which flushes bacteria from the urinary tract. The exception: Those who are taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, should not consume cranberry juice. And those with diabetes should be mindful of the high-sugar content of fruit juices.
Is There Any Other Way To Prevent A Uti
While theres no foolproof way to ensure you never have a UTI, there are strategies and behaviors that may lower your risk:
- Stay hydrated.
- Women should wipe from front to back to stop the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid using douches, powders, sprays or other materials in the genital area.
Some physicians have begun recommending that patients add probiotics to their diet such as kefir, yogurt, various fermented foods, etc. as a form of prevention. No evidence indicates that probiotics can prevent a UTI on their own, but they do promote the growth of helpful bacteria in the vagina and bowels, which is beneficial for your overall health and may lower your risk of infection.
UTIs are commonplace so commonplace, in fact, that theyre one of the most frequently treated issues by telehealth professionals. If youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a UTI, dont wait until your schedule clears up to make an appointment with a physician. Dont wait for your doctors next in-office opening six weeks from now, either.
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Why Antibiotics Are The Golden Standard
Urinary tract infections occur due to an external bacterial infection in the urinary tract of a body. The most common treatment option is a course of antibiotic therapy that targets the pathogens and the bacteria causing the infection.
The appropriate antibiotic course leads to higher symptomatic and bacteriological cure rates and significantly reduces the chances of reinfection. The types of antibiotics prescribed as the first line of treatment are based upon the type of bacteria found in your urine after the urine analysis, your health status, and the severity of the infection.
What Happens When A Uti Goes Untreated
Thanks to early diagnosis and proper treatment, the vast majority of lower urinary tract infections result in no complications. However, if left untreated, a UTI can have serious ramifications notes the Mayo Clinic, including:
- Recurrent UTIs
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Kidney damage, which can occur is an untreated UTI spreads from the bladder to the kidneys.
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The Common Symptoms Of Utis In Men That Antibiotics Actively Treat Are:
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Burning sensation while passing urine
- The frequent urge of peeing
So, whenever you face these symptoms just get in touch with a specialist doctor. The doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to treat the urinary infection. Lets know about some of the most effective antibiotics for UTIs in men.
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.
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