Types of Antibiotics for a Urinary Tract Infection


A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection in the urinary system, which includes the bladder, urethra, ureters and kidneys. UTI symptoms usually include a frequent urge to urinate, pressure in the lower abdomen and a stinging sensation while urinating. Urinary tract infections are typically treated with antibiotics.


  • Penicillin medications, particularly Amoxicillin, are commonly prescribed to UTI patients. Penicillin kills the bacteria by interfering with the cell walls.


  • Cephalosporin is another antibiotic that interferes with bacterial cell walls. This antibiotic effectively kills various bacteria growing in the urinary tract system.


  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is a sulfa antibiotic that is increasingly being used to treat UTIs. This antibiotic has a higher risk of side affects, and can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.


  • Quinolones, also referred to as fluoroquinolones, stop the bacteria from reproducing by interfering with their genes. These medications tend to be more expensive than other types of antibiotics.


  • Tetracyclines cure UTIs by inhibiting bacterial growth. Side effects often include a sensitivity to sunlight and tooth discoloration.


  • Nitrofurantoin is a fairly inexpensive antibiotic prescribed especially for UTIs. While this medication typically works for bladder infections, it isn't effective for kidney infections.


  • Photo Credit Creative Commons photo by sxc.hu/yenhoon
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