The first medical approach with kidney infections is a regimen of antibiotics, according to Mayo Clinic. The specific drug and length of the regimen vary with the specific bacteria that show up in urine tests and the patient's overall health.
Within several days of starting treatment, the symptoms of kidney infections generally start to clear up, but the course of antibiotics may run for a week or even longer. Patients should take the whole antibiotic course even if symptoms improve before the antibiotics are all gone, notes Mayo Clinic.
If the kidney infection is severe enough, the doctor may recommend admission to the hospital. There, patients receive antibiotics intravenously, through the arm. The patient's stay in the hospital lasts as long as the infection's severity warrants. For people who suffer from recurring infections, testing for contributing problems such as structural anomalies is often warranted. The patient's general practitioner may refer him to a urologist or kidney specialist to determine the best course of action, as stated by Mayo Clinic.
For people who do not require hospitalization, some additional steps can alleviate discomfort at home. Putting a heating pad on the side, back or abdomen may help reduce pain or feeling of pressure. Non-aspirin pain relievers with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or prescription pain medications are common recommendations. It is also important to remain hydrated to keep pushing bacteria out of the urinary tract. Until the infection is gone, patients should avoid alcohol and coffee, reports Mayo Clinic.