How to Treat a Stubborn UTI With Antibiotics


Some urinary tract infections do not respond to home remedies and need antibiotic treatment. Symptoms of a UTI include a strong, constant urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, urinating frequently but in small amounts and blood in the urine. You could also experience pelvic pressure, fever, chills, nausea and lower abdomen discomfort. Your doctor will determine which kind of antibiotic will be most effective against your infection.

Things You'll Need

  • antibiotic prescription from a doctor
  • plenty of water

Beta-lactam antibiotics include penicillins and cephalosporins. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this type of antibiotic is most effective in UTIs caused by Gram-positive organisms. Amoxicillin is now considered ineffective against E. coli bacteria in up to 25 percent of cases.

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is a typical treatment in, usually, a three-day course.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli are the most common cause of UTIs. Quinolones (or fluoroquinolone) are now the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for UTIs. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole formerly held that title.

Your doctor may decide one of the above classes of antibiotics will not be effective. Other types include tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to take antibiotics as prescribed, and finish the entire course. You may feel better within a day or two of starting antibiotics, but finish your prescription to help prevent resistance and to completely cure the infection. Using a heating pad on your stomach may also help soothe symptoms. Continue to drink plenty of fluids (water is best) throughout your treatment to help flush out the infection. Avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine that may irritate the bladder. For those who experience recurrent UTIs, doctors may prescribe a longer course of antibiotics. If UTIs are related to sexual intercourse, your doctor may instruct you to take an antibiotic each time you have sex.
  • TMP-SMX should not be used in patients allergic to sulfa drugs. Some antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Pregnant women should not take Quinolone antibiotics. Check with your doctor about possible side effects (many antibiotics cause stomach upset) and drug interactions.

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