Urine Infection (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) facts
- What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What causes a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) risk factors?
- Common urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms in women, men, and children
- What are urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms and signs in women, men, and children?
- Is there a link between urinary tract infection (UTI) and pregnancy?
- How is a urinary tract infection (UTI) diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are common antibiotics used to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Are there any home remedies for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What are possible complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- What is the prognosis for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Is it possible to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with a vaccine?
- Can a urinary tract infection (UTI) be prevented?
- Is it possible to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) with diet and supplements?
What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Treatment for a UTI should be designed for each patient individually and is usually based on the patient's underlying medical conditions, what pathogen(s) are causing the infection, and the susceptibility of the pathogen(s) to treatments. Patients who are very ill usually require intravenous (IV) antibiotics and admission to a hospital; they usually have a kidney infection (pyelonephritis) that may be spreading to the bloodstream. Other people may have a milder infection (cystitis) and may get well quickly with oral antibiotics. Still others may have a UTI caused by pathogens that cause STDs and usually require more than a single oral antibiotic. The caregivers often begin treatment before the pathogenic agent and its antibiotic susceptibilities are known, so in some individuals, the antibiotic treatment may need to be changed. In addition, pediatric patients and pregnant patients should not use certain antibiotics that are commonly used in adults. For example, ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and other related quinolones should not be used in children or pregnant patients due to side effects. However, penicillins and cephalosporins are usually considered safe for both groups if the individuals are not allergic to the antibiotics. Patients with STD-related UTIs usually require two antibiotics to eliminate STD pathogens. STD infections often involve more than one infecting organism. The CDC advises that sex partners of STD-positive patients be treated even if they show no signs of infection. The less frequent or rare fungal and parasitic pathogens require specific antifungal or antiparasitic medications; these more complicated UTIs should often be treated in consultation with an infectious disease expert.
All antibiotics prescribed should be taken even if the person's symptoms disappear early. Reoccurrence of the UTI and even antibiotic resistance of the pathogen may happen in individuals who are not adequately treated.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines offer relief from the pain and discomfort of UTIs but they don't cure UTIs. OTC products like AZO or Uristat contain the medicine, phenazopyridine (Pyridium and Urogesic), which works in the bladder to relieve pain. This medication turns urine an orange-red color, so patients should not be worried when this occurs. This medication can also turn other body fluids orange, including tears, and can stain contact lenses; patients should be made aware of these possible changes.
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