First Line Of Defense
If youre just feeling the first hint of a UTI, you can get ahead of the infection with AZO Urinary Tract DefenseÂ®. It includes a pain reliever to help soothe and a powerful antibacterial agent to help control your infection. If youre beyond that stage, relieve painful UTI symptoms FAST with an over-the-counter urinary pain reliever like AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® or for a higher dose of the active ingredient, AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® Maximum Strength.
Remember: Theres no over-the-counter cure for a UTI. Only your doctor can prescribe a UTI antibiotic to rid the bacteria causing the infection.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections 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
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
Diagnosing Utis Vs Yeast Infections
To diagnose either of these infections, your doctor will start by asking about your symptoms and any previous infections. They may also ask if you have any concerns about sexually transmitted infections .
If you have had a UTI or a yeast infection before, let your doctor know if the symptoms you have right now are similar or different.
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Monitoring Response To Therapy
Patients with a simple, uncomplicated UTI may not require rigorous monitoring. However, patients with complicated, relapsing, or recurrent infections should be monitored very closely. The following protocol is recommended to monitor response to therapy in patients with relapsing, recurrent, or refractory UTI.3
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
A UTI is an infection in any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the bodys drainage system for removing urine. It consists of :
- The kidneys: organs that filter waste from the blood and produce 12 quarts of urine per day
- The ureters: the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder
- The bladder: the organ that stores urine
- The urethra: a tube at the bottom of the bladder that allows urine to exit the body
Most UTIs occur as a result of bacteria such as Escherichia coli . However, other types of pathogens, such as viruses and fungi, can also cause UTIs.
A UTI may occur when a pathogen enters the urethra and infects any part of the urinary tract. The infection can irritate the lining of the urinary tract, leading to symptoms
resistant infections that do not respond to traditional treatments and are more likely to result in potential complications.
Doctors may prescribe different antibiotics depending on whether the UTI is simple or complicated.
The type of antibiotic, the dose, and the length of treatment a doctor prescribes will depend on a persons health status and the bacteria found in the urine culture. For example, treatment for complicated UTIs may take 714 days and require broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics as well as hospitalization.
Doctors may prescribe the following first-line antibiotics for uncomplicated UTIs:
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Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Clarithromycin is used to treat certain bacterial infections, such as pneumonia , bronchitis , and infections of the ears, sinuses, skin, and throat. It also is used to treat and prevent disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex infection . It is used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers. Clarithromycin is in a class of medications called macrolide antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics such as clarithromycin will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
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Other Antibiotics And Treatments For Urinary Tract Infections
Other antibiotics may be as effective as first-line antibiotics but have more side effects or risks of complications. They are not commonly used. They include:
Antibiotics called beta-lactams may be used when other first-line antibiotics are unavailable or cannot be used for any other reason. They include:
These are not usually first-line choices because they are broad-spectrum antibiotics that have a higher risk of causing antibiotic resistance.
Another drug that is frequently prescribed for a UTI is phenazopyridine, available under several brand names such as Pyridium. This medication is not an antibiotic and does not cure a UTI. It is used to relieve symptoms of pain, burning, urgency and pressure.
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When To See A Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have pain or discomfort when you urinate or other symptoms of a bladder infection, especially if the symptoms have been present for two days or more. If an infection lingers for too long, you risk the bacterial infection traveling to other parts of your body, including your kidneys. Therefore, you should seek treatment if you notice symptoms.
Your doctor will complete a physical examination and collect a urine sample to send for lab analysis to determine if an infection is present. Complications from an uncomplicated bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment. However, if you develop fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms suggest a more serious infection that has spread to your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, you may need an IV treatment of high-dose antibiotics, which may require hospitalization.
How Do You Get Sepsis From A Uti
Untreated urinary tract infections may spread to the kidney, causing more pain and illness. It can also cause sepsis. The term urosepsis is usually used to describe sepsis caused by a UTI. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, sepsis is the bodyÄôs often deadly response to infection or injury.
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Antiseptic Drug As Good As Antibiotics For Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
And may also help tackle antibiotic resistance, say researchers
The antiseptic drug methenamine hippurate is as good as antibiotics for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in women, finds a trial published by The BMJ today.
Its use as an alternative to antibiotics may also help tackle the global burden of antibiotic resistance, say the researchers.
Over half of women have at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime, and recurrence occurs in about a quarter of women who have one episode.
Current guidelines recommend daily low dose antibiotics as the standard preventive treatment for recurrent UTI. But such long term use of antibiotics has been linked to antibiotic resistance, so research into non-antibiotic alternatives is urgently needed.
Methenamine hippurate is a drug that sterilises urine, stopping the growth of certain bacteria. Previous studies have shown that it could be effective in preventing UTIs, but the evidence is inconclusive and further randomised trials are needed.
So a team of UK researchers, led by clinicians and scientists from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, set out to test if methenamine hippurate is an effective alternative to standard antibiotic treatment for preventing recurrent UTI in women.
Their findings are based on 240 women with recurrent urinary tract infections requiring prophylactic treatment. On average before trial entry these women experienced over six UTI episodes per year.
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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Apple Cider Vinegar For Utis
Apple cider vinegar is widely known and used for its amazing health benefits, and its a natural remedy for UTIs, too. Its acidifying nature is great at clearing UTIs, and it helps prevent bacteria from spreading, stopping the infection before it reaches the kidneys. Try Braggs organic raw apple cider vinegar. Its gluten-free and contains Mother of Vinegar, a healthy bacteria that occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. Its also loaded with vitamins and prebiotics, which relieve and prevent UTIs.
A version of this article first appeared in our print magazine.
Treatment Of Recurrent Utis
Some people develop recurring urinary tract infections and may require further testing to determine the cause. Treatment may include longer doses of antibiotics or more potent doses of antibiotics delivered intravenously. Recurrent UTIs may be a symptom of a more chronic problem and require further examination by a trained urologist.
Couling, R. . Managing lower UTI in adults in the community. Nurse Prescribing. 6, 485-489.
Huang, C.-H. et al. . Cranberry-Containing Products for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Susceptible PopulationsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Archives of Internal Medicine. 172:988-996.
OShea, L. . Diagnosing urinary tract infections. Practice Nurse. 40, 20-25.
Riley, J. . Urinary tract infection. Conditions and Procedures in Brief, 1-3.
Stapleton, A.E. et al. . Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection and Urinary Escherichia coli in Women Ingesting Cranberry Juice Daily: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 87:143-150.
Urinary tract infection. . Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from .
Urinary tract infectionCauses. . University of Maryland Medical Center.
Urinary tract infections in adults. . National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information. Publication No. 122097.
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What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to phenazopyridine.
Phenazopyridine can interfere with laboratory tests, including urine tests for glucose and ketones. If you have diabetes, you should use Clinitest rather than Tes-Tape or Clinistix to test your urine for sugar. Urine tests for ketones may give false results. Before you have any tests, tell the laboratory personnel and doctor that you take this medication.
Phenazopyridine stains clothing and contact lenses. Avoid wearing contact lenses while taking this medicine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable.
If you still have symptoms after you finish the phenazopyridine, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Antibiotics For More Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
A different antibiotic may be better for a more severe or stubborn UTI. This may include a UTI that:
- Spreads to the kidneys
- Comes back
- Is not responding to treatment
Additionally, there is a medical category of complicated UTIs that may require a different antibiotic regimen.
Complicated UTIs include UTIs that occur:
- In a person with a childhood history of UTIs
- In a person with a weakened immune system
- In a child or postmenopausal woman
- During pregnancy
- With a medical condition, like diabetes
- With an abnormality of the urinary tract, like a stone, obstruction, catheter or kidney deformity
In these cases, a urine culture may be done to make the choice of antibiotic. A urine culture grows the bacteria from the urine so that it may be identified under a microscope and tested for antibiotic sensitivity. The best antibiotic will be determined by the culture and sensitivity results.
No matter what antibiotic your health care provider prescribes, it is important to take the entire course as directed. Stopping early can lead to antibiotic resistance.
If your antibiotic doesnt seem to be working and symptoms dont go away or come right back, let your health care provider know.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection And Treatment
In older men, urinary tract infections are quite common and are associated with an enlarged prostate as well as other diseases that come with age. Urinary tract infections are slightly more common in women than in men. Women who have had an infection once are more likely to get the inflammation back. In most cases, each infection is caused by a different type or strain of bacteria. Some bacteria can attack the cells of the body and multiply, creating a colony of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In women prone to recurrent inflammation, antibiotic prophylaxis is required, which means that a lower concentration of antibiotics is prescribed for another six months after the initial cure. Women who have bladder infections more often during the year should have a urine culture done to see which bacteria are present and which antibiotic is effective. Two weeks after the end of therapy, a urine culture should be performed to see if the inflammation has healed. Untreated bladder inflammation in the elderly can progress very quickly to kidney inflammation and urosepsis. It is less common in younger people, but bladder inflammation should be treated, especially in pregnant women.
Prevention measures for women with recurrent urinary tract infections
Find out more:
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Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you, your child or someone you care for may have a urinary tract infection and:
- a very high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
- are confused, drowsy or have difficulty speaking
- have not been for a pee all day
- have pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
- can see blood in their pee
These symptoms could mean you have a kidney infection, which can be serious if it’s not treated as it could cause .
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
What Is The Most Effective Antibiotic For Utis
Commonly prescribed antibiotics for UTIs include, but are not limited to:
There is no one single antibiotic thatâs most effective at treating UTIs. A doctor will determine the best antibiotic for each person based on symptoms, response to medications, and individual patient history.
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Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Infections
Ladies, if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you are probably right. One study found that women who self-diagnose a UTI are right 84% of the time.
You can apply this know-how to partner with your health care provider to pick the right treatment The go-to treatment of a UTI, which is caused by a bacteria, is antibiotics. Your questions about treatment decisions can make a difference, especially since antibiotic recommendations have shifted and not all doctors have changed their practices.
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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