How do you treat a UTI?


Quick Answer

Mayo Clinic indicates doctors typically prescribe oral antibiotics to treat a simple urinary tract infection, whereas stronger drugs, sometimes administered intravenously, treat complicated or persistent infections. Drugs for simple UTIs include sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. Symptoms usually clear up in a few days, but patients must take the entire course of prescribed antibiotics to ensure the infection is eradicated completely.

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Mayo Clinic explains frequent infections may require a longer regimen of antibiotics, depending on a doctor's diagnosis. Home tests for UTIs check for frequent infections. Post-menopausal women may use vaginal cream to prevent recurring infections. An upper UTI, also known as pyelonephritis, may require more aggressive treatment. MedicineNet explains intravenous antibiotics may be given in a hospital, followed by up to 14 days of oral antibiotics, for a UTI that affects the kidneys.

MedicineNet states a normal course of antibiotics for healthy people is three days although some doctors prescribe enough medication for seven days. Sometimes a single dose of antibiotics is delivered in otherwise healthy patients. Adult females with infections that impact the kidneys have a five- to seven-day treatment.

Along with a prescription and doctor's orders, MedicineNet recommends drinking plenty of water, taking pain-relieving medication and using a hot-water bottle to alleviate pain. Patients are advised to avoid alcohol, tobacco products, caffeine and spicy foods that can irritate the bladder. Self-care for a UTI is not recommended.

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