Bladder Infection (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is the bladder?
- What is a bladder infection?
- What causes bladder infections?
- What are some risk factors for bladder infection?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in women?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in men?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in children?
- How do health care professionals diagnose a bladder infection?
- What are treatment options and medications for a bladder infection?
- Are home remedies effective for a bladder infection?
- What is the treatment for a bladder infection during pregnancy?
- What are potential complications of a bladder infection?
- Is it possible to prevent bladder infections?
- What is the prognosis for a bladder infection?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are treatment options and medications for a bladder infection?
Bladder infection can be treated and cured by appropriate use of antibiotics. The selection and duration of antibiotic treatment depends on severity of the infection, previous history of similar infection, and patient factors (age, gender, allergies, other medications, other medical problems). The antibiotic initially chosen will be dependent on these factors as well as urine culture results from prior infections. Sometimes the antibiotic will be changed if the urine culture results show that the bacteria is resistant to the antibiotic used initially. In most bladder infections, oral (by mouth) antibiotics are used. The length of treatment will vary with whether or not the infection is complicated or not, as well as other risk factors. Sometimes intravenous antibiotics may be needed until a suitable oral antibiotic has been identified. A number of different types of antibiotics have been used to treat bladder infections, including trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Furadantin, and Macrodantin), fosfomycin (Monurol), cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones. Resistance to various antibiotics varies in different areas of the country, and this may also affect the antibiotic that your physician chooses initially until the culture results are available. It often takes up to 72 hours, sometimes longer, to have the final culture result and antibiotic sensitivities available.
Self-medication for bladder infection is occasionally an option in patients with mild, recurrent infections. In reliable and compliant individuals who are familiar with the symptoms of frequent bladder infections, appropriate bladder infection antibiotics can be prescribed to them in advance by their treating physicians. The bladder infection medication may then be started by the patient on their own at the onset of their symptoms. If the symptoms do not improve after several days of treatment, a urine culture will be needed to ensure that the proper antibiotic is being used.
Bladder muscle spasm and bladder inflammation are responsible for some of the symptoms associated with bladder infection, such as bladder pain, urinary frequency, urgency, and dysuria. Phenazopyridine (Pyridium) is a medication often used to treat symptoms of painful urination due to bladder infection. Other similar medications are available over the counter.
Learn more about: Pyridium
Prophylactic antibiotics (a low dose of antibiotic on a daily basis) is sometimes recommended for individuals who develop frequent symptomatic UTIs. Similarly, women who develop UTIs related to sexual activity may take a single dose of antibiotic around the time of intercourse.
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