Antibiotics Used For Uncomplicated Utis
If you are a healthy individual whose urinary tract is anatomically and functionally normal and you have no known heightened UTI susceptibility youve got whats dubbed an uncomplicated UTI, according to guidelines published in August 2019 in the Journal of Urology. For these individuals, antibiotics are considered the first-line of treatment.
The type of antibiotics you are prescribed and for how long is contingent on the type of bacteria detected in your urine, your current health status, and whether your UTI is uncomplicated or complicated. Depending on which antibiotic your doctor prescribes, women may need a single dose or up to a five-day course. For men, antibiotics are usually given for a slightly longer period of time, notes UpToDate.
Typically, if you are diagnosed with an uncomplicated UTI, one of the following will be prescribed as first-line treatment:
The following antibiotics are considered second-line treatments for UTI. They are generally chosen because of resistance patterns or allergy considerations:
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Phenazopyridine comes as a tablet or capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day after meals. Do not chew or crush the tablets as it may cause your teeth to become stained swallow them whole with a full glass of water. You may stop taking this drug when pain and discomfort completely disappear. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take phenazopyridine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Only one dose
May cause uncomfortable itching
This single-dose, prefilled applicator contains 6.5% tioconazole ointment, which is a clinically proven antifungal treatment and effective at quickly treating yeast infections. Its tough on yeast but gentle on sensitive and irritated skin in the surrounding area, so the burning or discomfort often experienced with strong treatments is avoided.
Reviewers say relief is quickwithin three days or lessand are quick to recommend it for others dealing with yeast infections. Tioconazole has been shown to be an effective treatment for yeasts and certain types of bacteria, according to research.
Active Ingredients: Tioconozole 300mg | Dose: One-dose treatment | Uses: To treat yeast infections
See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
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How Do You Know If You Have A Uti
You cant treat something if you dont know what it is, so how do you know if you have a UTI?
Some of the most common UTI symptoms are:
- Painful, burning urination
- Smelly, cloudy, or red-colored, blood-tinged urine
- Pain in the abdominal area, near your back or your side below the ribs
- Tiredness or weakness
- Shakiness or confusion
Fever and pain in your back may be signs that the infection has reached your kidneys.
To confirm a UTI diagnosis, your doctor may also run a urine test. The results of your test can help confirm whether you have a UTI. While a urine test is one way to know whether you have a UTI, medical evidence also has shown that your doctor can be pretty confident about your diagnosis based on your answers to the questions about symptoms.
How Long Does A Uti Last
Urinary tract infections usually go away after the first few days of antibiotics treatment. Depending on the severity of the infection, they may last a bit longer. If you often get UTIs, your healthcare provider may prescribe low-dose antibiotics for a few months at a time. If you have a UTI, over-the-counter products may help ease your symptoms while you receive antibiotic treatment.
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Get Your Prescription Filled Right Away
Once you are done with your appointment and have received a prescription for an antibiotic, its important you get it filled at a pharmacy as soon as possible. The faster you start taking your medication, the faster your UTI will be gone.
If you usually use next-day prescription delivery or a mail order pharmacy, this is one time when you should avoid doing this. These options can cause a delay by anywhere from 1 day to 1 week . Youre better off using a local pharmacy in this case.
If going into the pharmacy is a concern due to COVID-19, many pharmacies have added options to help minimize the amount of time you are inside the building. Some options to ask about at your pharmacy include:
Same-day delivery through services like Instacart
Using the pharmacys drive-thru pick-up window
Paying ahead of time through the pharmacys smartphone app to make your time spent at the checkout counter faster
Every pharmacy is different, so make sure to ask your personal pharmacy if these options are available at your location.
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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How Do I Know If I Need Antibiotics To Treat My Uti
Once you have a UTI, home remedies and OTC medications will not cure a UTI. You will need antibiotics to cure your UTI. Once you start antibiotics, symptoms usually clear up in 2-3 days.
Even though the symptoms should clear up quickly, you should still take all the antibiotics your doctor prescribes for you. If you dont, the infection could come back even stronger the next time.
For an uncomplicated UTI, these antibiotics are prescribed most often:
Azo Urinary Tract Defense
This is a relatively new OTC drug that has appeared in 2016 in pharmacies all over the USA and also could be ordered on.
Once you swallow it, Methenamine will work by slowing down the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract.
When exposed to acidic urine, Methenamine turns into formaldehyde to kill the bacteria, but its not strong enough to eliminate an infection completely. It cant cure an active infection but may slow down its progress.
AZO Urinary Tract Defense has been created to prevent UTIs, as well as to provide quick relief at the first signs of infection.
On top of this, Sodium salicylate, an analgesic, also acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Taking an NSAID could help to reduce inflammation while fighting a bladder infection. This analgesic, though, will not change the color of your urine and is not linked to cancer.
Quick Tip: In order for AZO Urinary Tract Defense to work to its full potential, youd need acidic urine. For that, take Ascorbic Acid with the drug.
An alternative to AZO Urinary Tract Defense in Canada, Europe, or Australia is Hiprex, which works similarly.
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How Do You Treat Utis
Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. The length of antibiotic treatment depends on the severity of the infection, whether you have had a UTI before, and if your symptoms go away quickly. If you are prescribed antibiotics for a UTI, it is important to take them as instructed by your healthcare provider.
There are additional medications and treatments available over-the-counter that may help ease symptoms and pain or prevent additional UTIs such as urinary pain relief tablets, cranberry pills, and heating pads.
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Antibiotics are medicines that can kill bacteria. Doctors often use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections . The main symptoms of UTIs are:
- A burning feeling when you urinate.
- A strong urge to urinate often.
However, many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Heres why:
Antibiotics usually dont help when there are no UTI symptoms.
Older people often have some bacteria in their urine. This does not mean they have a UTI. But doctors may find the bacteria in a routine test and give antibiotics anyway.
The antibiotic does not help these patients.
- It does not prevent UTIs.
- It does not help bladder control.
- It does not help memory problems or balance.
Most older people should not be tested or treated for a UTI unless they have UTI symptoms. And if you do have a UTI and get treated, you usually dont need another test to find out if you are cured. You should only get tested or treated if UTI symptoms come back.
Antibiotics have side effects.
Antibiotics can have side effects, such as fever, rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, tendon ruptures, and nerve damage.
Antibiotics can cause future problems.
Antibiotics can kill friendly germs in the body. This can lead to vaginal yeast infections. It can also lead to other infections, and severe diarrhea, hospitalization, and even death.
Antibiotics can be a waste of money.
When should older people take antibiotics for a UTI?
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
Can Uti Symptoms Linger After I Take Antibiotics
Since UTI symptoms usually improve just a few days after starting antibiotics, youll want to talk to your healthcare provider if you notice that UTI symptoms are still hanging around after finishing your antibiotics.
Theres no need to panic, but you and your healthcare provider will want to make sure the antibiotics actually worked against your UTI. To do this, they may take another sample of your urine to see if the bacteria are still there or not. If the infection is cured, youll want to be sure there isnt a different issue thats causing similar symptoms.
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Editorial Sources And Fact
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.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of A Urinary Tract Infection
What Can I Take To Relieve Pain
Phenazopyridine hydrochloride may relieve your pain, burning, itching, and urgency to urinate within 20 minutes. Avoid taking it if you have kidney disease or are allergic to dyes. Do not worry if your urine turns reddish-orange when you take this medication. This common effect is not harmful, but it can stain clothing.
Methenamine and sodium salicylate work together to slow bacterial growth along the urinary tract and to control the UTI. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to aspirin, are on a low-sodium diet or anticoagulant therapy, or have stomach problems.
You can also take other pain relievers, such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen .
Azo Urinary Pain Relief
Similar to the previous product by AZO, this one contains Phenazopyridine as an active ingredient, just a lower dose .
Therefore, AZO Urinary Pain Relief has the same side-effects and method of action. It is also purely analgesic, containing no antimicrobial ingredient, and is sold at a lower price, as it contains less Phenazopyridine per dose.
There are no other ingredients that add value and the same possible carcinogenic effects associated with using Phenazopyridine.
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The Link Between Sex And Utis
To understand why sex causes UTIs, it helps to know that most UTIs are caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract.
Over 80% of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria. These germs are normal and common inside our intestines, where they help with digestion without making us sick.
The other 20% of bacteria that cause UTIs are mostly:
These types of bacteria are also common in the digestive tracts of healthy people.
Bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract can often be found on the skin around the rectum. In people with typically female genitals, the rectum is in the back, the urethra is in the front, and the vagina is in the middle. Having sex can force bacteria from the rectal area forward, toward the vagina and the urethra. Anything that pushes germs toward the opening of the urethra increases your chance of infection.
Some types of contraceptives contribute to sex-related UTIs as well. Spermicides, including the spermicides on some condoms, change the interaction between bacteria and skin cells by making it easier for bacteria to attach to the inside of the urethra. Contraceptive diaphragms are also associated with UTIs. In addition to containing a spermicide, a diaphragm can press on the urethra and cause urine to become trapped. This interferes with how urine flow can help wash bacteria out of the urethra.
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How To Prevent Utis From Occurring
The age-old adage still applies-prevention is better than cure, especially if you want to avoid the use of antibiotics and over-the-counter UTI medicine altogether.
To prevent UTIs in the first place, there are some measures you can take. These include:
- Urinating more frequently instead of holding it in for long periods
- Urinating after sexual intercourse
- Wiping from front to back after urination
- Drinking lots of water
To add to the last point, plenty of water intake doesnt just help you prevent UTIs it also has other benefits. Take a look at these other 9 reasons why you should drink more water.
For those with recurring UTIs, Hiprex could help. This medicine is not an over-the-counter medicine for UTI, however. It is only available by prescription.
What about cranberries for prevention? Studies have also shown that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements may help to prevent or reduce the recurrence of UTIs1,2, 3. So, it doesnt hurt to try it-just be sure to consult with your doctor first!
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What Does Azo Urinary Tract Defense Do
Azo Urinary Tract Defense contains two key ingredients:
- Methenamine belongs to the anti-infective class of drugs. It works in two ways. First, it inhibits the growth of bacteria in urine to slow down the spread of the infection. At the same time, it lowers the pH of urine, making it more acidic so bacteria cant thrive.
- Sodium salicylate belongs to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug class of medications. It interferes with the bodys ability to produce certain chemicals that play a role in inflammation and pain sensation. As a result, it alleviates pain associated with urinary tract infections.