Important Antibiotics for UTI
When germs enter your bladder, kidneys, or another part of your urinary tract, a urinary tract infection (UTI) develops. Antibiotics are the most effective way to treat a UTI and alleviate symptoms including pain, burning, and a sudden urge to urinate.
Anyone’s notion of fun is probably not having a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI can be treated with a number of medications, though. And even though you require an antibiotic prescription from your doctor, you might be interested in your alternatives. What you need to know about your UTI treatment options for antibiotics is provided below.
How do antibiotics treat UTI ?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be brought on by a wide range of pathogens, such as bacteria or fungi. Rarely, viruses themselves can result in a UTI. However, bacterial UTIs are the most typical type.
The majority of individuals associate a UTI with a bladder infection (cystitis). However, there are several varieties of UTIs, such as urethral infections and kidney infections (pyelonephritis) (urethritis).
Antibiotics are the only treatment option if bacteria are the root of the UTI. UTI antibiotics either kill the bacteria or stop their growth.
Remember that antibiotics only address bacterial infections such as UTIs and other bacterial infections. If you have a fungal or viral UTI, antibiotics won’t help.
UTIs cannot always be treated with antibiotics, but there are several effective alternatives. What you need to know about the most popular UTI antibiotics is provided below;
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) is a drug that combines trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, two antibiotics. Also known as TMP/SMX. The potent combination prevents two crucial processes that certain bacteria must pass through in order to produce the proteins they require to thrive.
TMP/SMX is generally effective in treating UTIs. However, in some areas Bactrim is less effective than it should be at combating the bacteria that cause UTIs because the bacteria have become resistant to the drug. This is resistance to antibiotics.
Bactrim is typically prescribed in dosages of 1 double strength tablet (160/800 mg) twice daily for 3 days to treat UTIs. If you have a medical condition that has an impact on your kidneys, your doctor might advise taking a lower dose.
The most common side effects of TMP/SMX are:
Loss of appetite
Very rare potential side effects include:
- Kidney failure
- High potassium levels
- Low blood cell counts
- Dangerous skin conditions
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Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin)
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that treats cystitis specifically because the condition builds up in the bladder. Bacteria are unable to produce the DNA and proteins they require to survive thanks to nitrofurantoin.
For five days, you must consume 100 mg of nitrofurantoin twice daily. If you suffer from a medical condition that affects your kidneys, nitrofurantoin might not be the best choice for you.
The common side effects of nitrofurantoin are:
Loss of appetite
More serious potential side effects include:
Jaundice (a liver condition that causes yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
Low blood cell counts
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a dangerous skin condition)
There are a few additional possible adverse effects of antibiotics that you should be aware of in addition to the prominent side effects we’ve already discussed.
The majority of antibiotics have some potential to upset your stomach, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Inform your healthcare practitioner if you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for two days or longer. A typical side effect of taking antibiotics and immediately after stopping them is diarrhea. However, antibiotic-induced diarrhea occasionally signals a more serious infection brought on by the C. diff bacterium.
Antibiotic sensitivity in some people can cause a mild reaction like a rash or a more severe reaction like anaphylaxis. Immediately seek medical attention if you experience breathing problems or significant skin changes after taking an antibiotic.
How long do you need to take antibiotics to treat UTI?
Depending on the severity of your UTI and the antibiotic you are prescribed, you may need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time. One dose is all that’s necessary for some medications, like fosfomycin. A more serious UTI, however, might need treatment for 14 days or longer. Treatment for UTIs typically lasts 3 to 7 days.
You’ll probably start to notice a decrease in your UTI symptoms within the first 1 to 2 days of starting your antibiotics. It might take a few more days to see improvement if your UTI is more serious or you started taking antibiotics after having symptoms for a while.
In any case, even if you feel better before finishing the antibiotics, it’s crucial to take all of the medication as directed. Early antibiotic discontinuation can result in antibiotic resistance, which could make the drug less effective if you ever need it to treat an infection again. If you haven’t fully treated your UTI, it may also indicate that it will return.
Do you need to take antibiotics for UTI?
Most people who get a UTI must take antibiotics. Uncommonly, a UTI doesn’t resolve on its own, however it is conceivable. Infections including pyelonephritis, blood infections, and even sepsis, which can be fatal, can develop from untreated UTIs.
You are more likely to get a serious infection if you are pregnant, have underlying medical issues, or are over 65 years old. So instead of waiting to see whether your symptoms go away, visit a doctor straight away.
After starting antibiotics, symptoms of a UTI typically get better within 1 to 3 days. If your symptoms don’t improve immediately, especially if you discover that UTI symptoms persisted after your antibiotic course, consult your healthcare professional.
There’s no need to panic, but you and your doctor should confirm that the drugs effectively treated your UTI. To check if there are still bacteria, they could collect another sample of your urine. After the infection has been treated, you should check to make sure another problem isn’t causing the same symptoms.