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Urine Infection (cont.)

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What are common antibiotics used to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

The following antibiotics are used to treat UTIs:

  • Beta-lactams, including penicillins and cephalosporins (for example, Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Keflex, Duricef, Ceftin, Lorabid, Rocephin, Cephalexin, Suprax, and others); many organisms have resistance to some of these drugs.
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole combination antibiotic (for example, Bactrim DS and Septra); many organisms may show resistance.
  • Fluoroquinolones (for example, Cipro, Levaquin, and Floxacin) resistance is developing; also these should not be used in pregnancy or in the pediatric population.
  • Tetracyclines (for example, tetracycline, doxycycline, or minocycline) used most often for Mycoplasma or Chlamydia infections; like fluoroquinolones, they should not be used in pregnancy or by the pediatric population.
  • Aminoglycosides (for example, gentamycin, amikacin, and tobramycin) used usually in combination with other antibiotics to combat severe UTIs.
  • Macrolides (for example, clarithromycin, azithromycin, and erythromycin), used more often with some STD-caused urinary problems.

There are other antibiotics that are used occasionally, such as Nitrofurantoin, but its use is limited to cystitis and should not be used to treat more serious (kidney) UTIs. Choice of antibiotics for treatment depends mainly on the susceptibility of the infecting agent to the drug, the seriousness of the infection, if the infected person is an adult, child or is pregnant, and on the treating doctor's experience and knowledge of local antibiotic resistance patterns of commonly infecting bacteria.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/7/2014


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