Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
Symptoms of a UTI can differ depending on what part of the urinary tract is infected.
A bladder infection usually causes symptoms that include the following:
- Burning when urinating
- The feeling that you need to pee frequently, but when you go to the toilet very little urine comes out
- Pain in the pelvic area just above the pubic bone.
Bladder infections are usually considered a simple UTI and treatment is usually with antibiotics for three to five days. Symptoms usually resolve in a couple of days.
People with an infection of the urethra may experience symptoms similar to a bladder infection in addition to itching or irritation at the end of the urethra where the pee comes out.
Symptoms of a kidney infection are usually more widespread and more severe than those of a bladder infection and may include:
- Fever or chills
- Pink or red-tinged urine
- Burning when urinating
- The feeling that you need to pee frequently, but when you go to the toilet very little urine comes out
- Pain in the pelvic area just above the pubic bone
- Moderate to severe lower back pain
- Nausea or vomiting.
Antibiotic Overuse Leads To Antibiotic Resistance
At some point, most people have taken a course of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or ciprofloxacin , two common antibiotics used for UTIs. However, in the last few years it has become clear that the likelihood these antibiotics will kill most UTIs is dropping rapidly. You may have read the recent, frightening New York Timesarticle reporting one in three uncomplicated UTIs in young healthy women are Bactrim-resistant and one in five are resistant to five other common antibiotics. Pretty scary, since we used to feel confident that writing a prescription for Bactrim was a sure recipe for cure.
How is it that we are losing the antibiotic war with bacteria? Though many things drive bacterial resistance, giving antibiotics to animals and antibiotic overuse in humans top the list.
We use a lot of antibiotics in humans too much, and not always for the right reasons. When we prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses like a cold, the flu, or common sinusitis, we create a massive shift in the bodys bacteria for no good reason .
Recommended Reading: Cranberries And Urinary Tract Health
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:
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
do not use condoms or a diaphragm or cap with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
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.
Recommended Reading: Urinary Tract Infection Pills Over The Counter
Different Parts Of The Urinary Tract
Kidneys: These small organs are located on the back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters your body uses to remove waste and water from your blood by turning them into urine.
Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
Bladder: A sac-like organ where urine is stored before it leaves the body.
Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
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.
Read Also: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary & Hairball Control
Otc Products To Supplement Antibiotics For Uti
When starting an antibiotic treatment consider using D-Mannose and special probiotics to speed up recovery and prevent your UTIs from recurring.
D-Mannose will help you to flush the bacteria from your bladder, while vaginal probiotics will maintain the good bacteria and help to prevent future infections. Read this post if you are not familiar with D-Mannose supplement.
So, which antibiotics did your physician prescribe for you? Please tell us about your experience in the comments belowand remember to let me know which country you are from.
Also, read an updated post about antibiotics for UTI by Dr. Steinberg.
Editorial Sources And Fact
Don’t Miss: Bard Latex Free Urinary Drainage Bag
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
Risk Factors For Utis In The Elderly
The elderly are sometimes already at greater risk for UTIs because they are often not as active as younger individuals. Extended immobility can lead to a UTI because the person isnt able to expel urine as frequently, allowing for the bacteria to cultivate in the urine inside the bladder. Other risk factors may be similar to those in younger people, though significantly amplified, such as:
- Use of a catheter
Also Check: Is There A Cure For Urinary Incontinence
When To See A Doctor
If youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a urinary tract infectionpainful urination, abdominal discomfort, frequent urge to pee, or blood in your urineseek out medical advice.
Your doctor is a resource to help you understand what type of UTI you have, how severe it is, and the best course of action for treatment. The good news is that your discomfort can be over in a matter of days if you take steps now to address it.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has A Urinary Infection
Dogs with UTIs generally attempt to urinate very frequently whenever they go outside. They also may strain to urinate, or cry out or whine when urinating if it is painful. Sometimes you might even see blood in their urine. Dripping urine, or frequent licking of the genitals, may also signal that a UTI is present.
Also Check: Why Did I Get A Urinary Tract Infection
Does Red Wine Make Uti Worse
Image by https://healthdiaries.com
Drinking alcohol with a UTI can aggravate your symptoms and cause the infection to persist in fact, antibiotics are usually able to clear most UTIs.
Alcohol consumption increases your chances of developing a urinary tract infection . Ureas infection is a bacterial infection that affects the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. It is not harmful to drink alcohol directly to the urine . Even if you have an active infection, the likelihood of becoming infected with this is increased. When used in combination with certain antibiotics, these medications can aggravate symptoms and cause serious side effects. Furthermore, alcohol causes increased bladder irritation, which is linked to the growth of bacteria. Drinking alcohol may prolong infection and make treatment less effective. Beverages such as coffee, tea, and carbonated soft drinks should be avoided by patients during UTI episodes.
Q: When Will A Doctor Prescribe A Single Dose Antibiotic For Uti
A: Single dose antibiotic treatment may be recommended if a woman has an uncomplicated UTI, a history of chronic UTIs, is sexually active, or has no other underlying conditions that might make this type of treatment ill-advised. Be aware, however, that as of this writing, not all doctors have warmed to or adopted the single dose antibiotic treatment idea.
Recommended Reading: Purina One Urinary Tract Health
Q: Is A Uti The Same As A Bladder Infection
A: In most cases, yes. Urinary tract infections are often referred to as bladder infections and vise versa. This is because the bladder is an integral part of the urinary system, and a large number of UTIs involve the bladder. So if you believe you have a urinary tract infection and the doctor refers to it as a bladder infection, there is typically no cause for alarm. Although you may want to ask for clarification, just to be sure.
How Can I Get Free Urine Flow
Go with the Flow
You May Like: Cvs Urinary Pain Relief Reviews
Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there’s some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
How To Avoid And Treat Uti Symptoms
In most cases, urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter your urinary tract and multiply. To avoid UTI symptoms, avoid touching your urine and place a barrier between your skin and the infected area in your urinary tract. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, you can also take them. If you become ill with UTI symptoms, it is critical to avoid foods and beverages that can worsen them and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Cranberries, blueberries, pomegranate juice, probiotic unsweetened yogurt, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach may be beneficial to the health.
Recommended Reading: Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract
Kidney Infection Symptoms And Complications
Typically, the infection causes painful urination . This discomfort may also be followed with other symptoms such as:
The symptoms can develop quickly, within a few hours. Kidney infection can be serious and should not be left untreated the treatment is necessary!
With quick and appropriate treatment, it should be harmless and doesnt pose to other health risks, though it often makes patient feel very unwell. If the infection is left untreated, it can be potential to cause serious complications such as:
Also Check: Farxiga Side Effects Yeast Infection
Why Is It Important To Take My Antibiotic As Prescribed
When prescribing an antibiotic, a healthcare provider takes many factors into account, such as allergy history, cost, tolerability, previous antibiotic therapy, and prevalence of drug resistance. Drug resistance is a public health problem. It refers to how germs can develop antibiotic resistance to our antibiotics through developing mutations that defend them and passing that genetic information on to other germs .
Antibiotic resistance makes our drugs less effective and affects people everywhere. If your healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic treatment, you can do your part to help fight this problem. Follow your providers directions and remember the following guidelines .
You May Like: How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Uti
Some patients may want to use cranberry or cranberry juice as a home remedy to treat a UTI. Cranberry juice has not been shown to cure an ongoing bacterial infection in the bladder or kidney.
Cranberry has been studied as a preventive maintenance agent for UTIs. Studies are mixed on whether cranberry can really prevent a UTI. Cranberry may work by preventing bacteria from sticking to the inside of the bladder however, it would take a large amount of cranberry juice to prevent bacterial adhesion. More recent research suggests cranberries may have no effect on preventing a UTI
- According to one expert, the active ingredient in cranberries — A-type proanthocyanidins — are effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is only in highly concentrated cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice.
- However, cranberry was not proven to prevent recurrent UTIs in several well-controlled studies, as seen in a 2012 meta-analysis of 24 trials published by the Cochrane group.
- While studies are not conclusive, there is no harm in drinking cranberry juice. However, if you develop symptoms, see your doctor. Some people find large quantities of cranberry juice upsetting to the stomach.
Increasing fluid intake like water, avoiding use of spermicides, and urinating after intercourse may be helpful in preventing UTIs, although limited data is available.
Also Check: What Is The Best Treatment For Urinary Incontinence
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
You May Like: Type 1 Diabetes And Yeast Infections