Urinary Tract Infections And Self
Shireen N. Farzadeh, PharmD Candidate 2019St. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New York
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, BCGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorSt. Johns University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkClinical Specialist, Rite Aid PharmacyWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2017 9:4-7.
Urinary tract infections are the most commonly occurring infections, affecting approximately 150 million people worldwide each year.1 In the United States alone, the societal costs of UTIs are estimated to be $3.5 billion annually.1 UTIs can affect both men and women, but they are especially common in women of childbearing age.2 Most women will experience at least one episode during their lifetime by 32 years of age, more than half of all women will have reported having at least one urinary tract infection.2,3 Almost 25% of women will have a recurrent infection within a year.2
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 doesn’t 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 doesn’t hurt to try it-just be sure to consult with your doctor first!
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.
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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.
Why Should I Take The Full Dose
Antibiotics work well against UTIs. You might start to feel better after being on the medicine for just a few days.
But even so, keep taking your medicine. If you stop your antibiotics too soon, you wonât kill all the bacteria in your urinary tract.
These germs can become resistant to antibiotics. That means the meds will no longer kill these bugs in the future. So if you get another UTI, the medication you take might not treat it. Take the full course of your medicine to make sure all the bacteria are dead.
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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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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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Medications For Urinary Incontinence
Other names: Bladder, Weak Incontinence Incontinence, Urge Urge Incontinence Weak Bladder
Incontinence is the inability to control the passage of urine. This can range from an occasional leakage of urine, to a complete inability to hold any urine.
The three main types of urinary incontinence are:
Stress incontinence occurs during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise.
Stress incontinence is a bladder storage problem in which the strength of the muscles that help control urination is reduced. The sphincter is not able to prevent urine flow when there is increased pressure from the abdomen.
Stress incontinence may occur as a result of weakened pelvic muscles that support the bladder and urethra or because of a malfunction of the urethral sphincter.
Treatment for stress incontinence may include behavioral changes, medication, pelvic floor muscle training or surgery.
Urge incontinence involves a strong, sudden need to urinate followed by instant bladder contraction and involuntary loss of urine. You dont have enough time between when you recognize the need to urinate and when you actually do urinate.
In most cases of urge incontinence, no specific cause can be identified.Although urge incontinence may occur in anyone at any age, it is more common in women and the elderly.
Treatment for urge incontinence may include medication, retraining, and surgery.
Mixed incontinence contains components of both stress and urge incontinence.
Will Common Foods Alcohol Or Medications Affect My Test Results
Most substances will not interfere with the test. However, some medications, like Soothe, can affect the color of your urine, making it difficult to properly match the colors. For example, if you take more than 500 mg of Vitamin C in 24 hours, you may obtain a false negative nitrite result. The drug tetracycline may also cause a false negative leukocyte result. If you are having difficulty reading the test strip or getting a negative result while experiencing UTI symptoms, contact your healthcare professional immediately.
We do not recommend using Clarify while taking Soothe or Uqora Target. Soothe contains phenazopyridine hydrochloride, an orange organic dye. This dye enters the urine to take effect and relieve UTI pain. However, it also turns the urine bright orange! Since Clarifys test strips use color to indicate if you might have a UTI, the orange urine will make them more difficult to interpret. If youve purchased both together, we suggest using Clarify before taking Soothe.
Uqora Target contains Vitamin C. High intake of Vitamin C may impact the results of Clarifys UTI test strips by impacting the perceived color. This could lead to a false negative nitrite result. For these reasons, while safe, we do not recommend taking Soothe or Uqora Target before using Clarify.
Can I Take Soothe With Uqora’s Other Products
Soothe can be safely taken alongside any of Uqora’s other products. When using with Clarify , we recommend using Clarify before taking Soothe. Soothe’s active ingredient is a dye that enters the urine to take effect and relieve UTI pain. However, it also turns the urine bright orange! Since Clarify’s test strips use color to indicate if you might have a UTI, the orange urine will make them more difficult to interpret. If you’ve purchased both together, we suggest using Clarify before taking Soothe.
Uti Treatment Over The Counter
UTIs are typically treated with prescribed courses of antibiotics lasting up to 7 days, but averaging at 1-3 for uncomplicated UTIs. Seeing a doctor and going down this avenue of treatment is our recommendation if you suspect that you may have contracted a UTI.
When it comes to urinary tract infection treatment over the counter, however, there are some options available to you:
- Paracetamol. Nearly always available as an over the counter treatment option, paracetamol can alleviate the pain associated with UTIs though read the packaging carefully to make sure it will help with your specific symptoms.
- Ibuprofen. Any form of UTI will produce inflammation, and reducing inflammation is where ibuprofen comes into its own, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. By reducing inflammation, you should experience less pain or discomfort, and the urgency or frequency of urination will be reduced too.
- Heat pads or hot water bottles. Make sure that they are warm, but not hot, and then place on your stomach, back or between your thighs. The warm sensation minimises the pressure or discomfort that results from UTIs.
- Hydration. Drink plenty of water, decaffeinated or sugar-free beverages, aiming for 6-8 standard glasses each day.
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Treatment Strategies For Recurrent Utis
Recurrent urinary tract infections, defined as three or more UTIs within 12 months, or two or more occurrences within six months, is very common among women these but arent treated exactly the same as standalone UTIs. One of the reasons: Continued intermittent courses of antibiotics are associated with allergic reactions, organ toxicities, future infection with resistant organisms, and more.
Because of this, its strongly recommended that you receive both a urinalysis and urine culture from your healthcare provider prior to initiating treatment. Once the results are in, the American Urological Association suggests that healthcare professionals do the following:
- Use first-line treatments. Nitrofurantoin, TMP-SMX, and fosfomycin are the initial go-tos. However, specific drug recommendations should be dependent on the local antibiogram. An antibiogram is a periodic summary of antimicrobial susceptibilities that helps track drug resistance trends.
- Repeat testing. If UTI symptoms persist after antimicrobial therapy, clinicians should repeat the urinalysis, urine culture, and antibiotic susceptibility testing to help guide further management.
- Try vaginal estrogen. For peri- and post-menopausal women with recurrent UTIs, vaginal estrogen therapy is recommended to reduce risk of future UTIs.
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when a person does not take the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue taking antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. Also, never share antibiotics with others.
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Active Ingredients Of Antibiotics For Urinary Tract Infections
There are several different types of antibiotics that can be used, if they are needed, to treat urinary tract infections. The best antibiotic for your infection will depend on the type of infection you have and what bacteria are causing it.
Antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections
|May be prescribed for:|
Can A Uti Go Away On Its Own
While most patients with a UTI will be prescribed antibiotics, the truth is, uncomplicated urinary tract infections are often self-limiting, meaning they can potentially run their course sans antibiotic treatment, noted a 2018 report in PLoS Medicine.
In fact, that same report found that more than one-half of the women studied experienced a UTI resolution without the use antibiotics. However, since kidney infections occurred in 7 out of 181 women using ibuprofen, the researchers concluded that, at this time, they cannot recommend ibuprofen alone as initial treatment to women with uncomplicated UTIs.
A better idea, for now: Simply wait until a positive urine culture comes back before treating with antibiotics.
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Care For Pregnant Women
The hormonal and anatomical changes of pregnancy mean that being pregnant increases the risk for both urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Not only this but pregnant people and their unborn babies may experience more health complications with even simple infections. UTIs and yeast infections during pregnancy can lead to a higher risk of preeclampsia, premature labor, and low birth weight.
Pregnant women who think they have a UTI or a yeast infection should see their healthcare provider without delay, as these infections should be treated right away to prevent serious complications to both the mother and the child. Your healthcare provider can also help you pick the safest treatments, since some antibiotics and antifungals are not suitable for pregnant women.
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What To Know About Otc Salves
For all those scrapes , keep these creams close at hand.
Hydrocortizone cream: This mild corticosteroid calms inflammation and eases itching, which makes it a go-to for a variety of skin woes, including allergic rashes and poison ivy.
Antibiotic ointment: A quick swipe of bacitracin or Neosporin helps keep infection-causing bacteria at bay so that minor wounds can heal more quickly.
Aloe Vera: Too much fun in the sun? Ease sunburn discomfort with a moisturizer that contains aloe vera. If that doesnt work, try hydrocortisone cream.
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What Are Utis And Who Should Care
UTIs are infections of the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the system that creates, collects, and gets rid of urine from your body. When bacteria enter the urinary system and find a place to grow, this is called a UTI.
Your urinary tract begins with your kidneys, which create urine. A pair of tubes called ureters carry urine from your kidneys down into your bladder. Urine is held in your bladder until you are ready to empty it. When you go to the bathroom, urine comes out through your urethra, which is the tube that connects your bladder to the outside.
Infections of the kidney, called pyelonephritis, can be quite serious. Bladder infections, called cystitis, are the most common type of UTI. Usually, when people talk about a UTI, they are talking about a bladder infection.
Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
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Treat Related Health Problems
When a childs bladder doesnt work exactly as it shouldcalled dysfunctional voidingtreatments may help the bladder work better and prevent repeated infections. The muscles that control urination may be out of sync. Or, your childs bladder may be overactive or underactive.
Health care professionals can treat these types of bladder problems with medicines, behavior changes, or both. Children often grow out of these bladder problems naturally over time.
If your child has vesicoureteral reflux, a urinary tract blockage, or an anatomical problem, see a pediatric urologist or other specialist. Treating these conditions may help prevent repeated bladder infections.
Diabetes and other health conditions can increase the risk for a bladder infection. Ask your childs health care professional how to reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection.
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.
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