Urinary Tract Infections - Treatments

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What kinds of treatments have been effective for your urinary tract infection?

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What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection?

The usual treatment for both simple and complicated urinary tract infections is antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and duration of treatment depend on the circumstances.

Lower urinary tract infection (cystitis)

  • In an otherwise healthy person, a three-day course of antibiotics is usually enough. Some providers prefer a seven-day course of antibiotics. Occasionally, a single dose of an antibiotic is used. A health-care professional will determine which of these options is best.
  • In adult males, if the prostate is also infected (prostatitis), four weeks or more of antibiotic treatment may be required.
  • Adult females with potential for or early involvement of the kidneys, urinary tract abnormalities, or diabetes are usually given a five- to seven-day course of antibiotics.
  • Children with uncomplicated cystitis are usually given a 10-day course of antibiotics.
  • To alleviate burning pain during urination, phenazopyridine (Pyridium) or a similar drug, can be used in addition to antibiotics for one to two days.

Upper urinary tract infection (pyelonephritis)

  • Young, otherwise healthy patients with symptoms of pyelonephritis can be treated as outpatients. They may receive IV fluids and antibiotics or an injection of antibiotics in the emergency department, followed by 10-14 days of oral antibiotics. They should follow up with their health-care professional in one to two days to monitor improvement.
  • If someone is very ill, dehydrated, or unable to keep anything in his or her stomach because of vomiting, an IV will be inserted into the arm. He or she will be admitted to the hospital and given fluids and antibiotics through the IV until he/she is well enough to switch to an oral antibiotic.
  • A complicated infection may require treatment for several weeks.

A person may be hospitalized if he or she has symptoms of pyelonephritis and any of the following:

  • Appear very ill
  • Are pregnant
  • Have not gotten better with outpatient antibiotic treatment
  • Have underlying diseases that compromise the immune system (diabetes is one example) or are taking immunosuppressive medication
  • Are unable to keep anything in the stomach because of nausea or vomiting
  • Had previous kidney disease, especially pyelonephritis, within the last 30 days
  • Have a device such as a urinary catheter in place
  • Have kidney stones

Urethritis in men and women can be caused by the same bacteria as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Therefore, people with symptoms of STDs (vaginal or penile discharge for example) should be treated with appropriate antibiotics.

Return to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Nurse 47, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 17

I had UTI's for years, sometimes 6 times a year and always very painful. I have not had one for about 10 years now and all I do is whenever I can, I use the toilet for a bowel mmovement in the morning BEFORE I shower. If I find I need to go again later in the day I always clean myself (most often I use unscented wipes). It's really no secret, just personal hygiene. You may prefer to shower but sometimes this is not practical. These practices ensure that if you are sexually active there is minimal E Coli bacteria in the genital area. Try it, it works for me and others I have told!

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Comment from: shirleybird, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I have used D Mannose powder to treat UTI with excellent results. My stomach doesn't tolerate antibiotics well, so found this treatment on the Internet. I also had to buy it on the Internet, but some health food stores carry it. I recommend the powder over the capsules. You may want to research the dosage and for more info on how it works, but I used 1 teaspoon in a beverage every 4 hours for several days...and decreased the dosage after a week or so. This works if the infection is caused by e. coli, I understand, so if it doesn't help after a couple days, I would go to the doctor. It can be pricey, but worth it in my opinion!

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