Can You Get UTI Antibiotics Over the Counter?

Reviewed on 5/26/2021

Currently, no urinary tract infection (UTI) antibiotics are available over the counter
Currently, no urinary tract infection (UTI) antibiotics are available over the counter

Currently, no urinary tract infection (UTI) antibiotics are available over the counter (OTC) in the United States. A person must consult a doctor to get the UTI treated with an antibiotic. However, an OTC product called Uristat (phenazopyridine) can be taken initially to

This medication can be bought without a prescription from the pharmacy store. This product is not an antibiotic. Take phenazopyridine only for 48 hours, and be aware, it may cause the urine to turn brown, orange or red, which can stain a fabric or contact lens.

Can I develop resistance to the antibiotics used to treat UTI?

Yes, the body can develop resistance to the antibiotics used to treat UTI. It occurs in people who have frequent infections. With each recurring infection, the bacteria become resistant and become harder to fight. Due to this, the physician may suggest alternative treatment in cases of frequent UTIs, which include

  • Waiting: Sometimes, the physician may suggest watching the symptoms rather than treating them with medicines. The physician may encourage patients to drink plenty of fluids to flush out the infection from the system.
  • Intravenous treatment: In severe cases, the bacteria are resistant to most antibiotics or the infection affects the kidneys and the patient needs to get admitted. Intravenous antibiotics treatment is done in these cases. After returning home, the patients will be prescribed oral antibiotics till the infection completely goes away.

Can I treat a UTI without antibiotics?

A person can try flushing out the bacteria with plenty of water. Hydrating the body with water up to two liters a day may help in mild urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice may help some people from developing recurrent UTIs. The urine alkalizers, such as sodium bicarb, may also help clear the UTIs.

Taking OTC drugs every time is not recommended. The infection may partially resolve and sometimes worsen over time, leading to a more severe kidney infection (pyelonephritis).

Pregnant women should always consult a doctor if they suspect UTI. Failing to do so can lead to premature birth and low birth weight.

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References
Davis CP. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI in Adults). https://www.rxlist.com/urine_infection/drugs-condition.htm#what_are_common_antibiotics_used_to_treat_a_urinary_tract_infection_uti

Drugs.com. Antibiotics for UTI Treatment - What Are My Options? https://www.drugs.com/article/antibiotics-for-uti.html

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