How Do You Treat an E. Coli Urinary Tract Infection?

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A urinary tract infection caused by E. coli bacteria is treated using antibiotics, according to Mayo Clinic. Common antibiotics include amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. When treated promptly and properly, most patients recover quickly; however, if left untreated a urinary tract infection can lead to recurrent infections, kidney damage and an increased risk for a woman to deliver a low birth weight baby.

A urinary tract infection caused by E. coli is diagnosed using a urine sample test, according to Mayo Clinic. In a laboratory, the urine is cultured and grown to determine the type of bacteria present and which medications are most effective in eradicating the bacteria. If recurrent infections occur, images of the urinary tract may be made or a scope may be used to look inside the bladder to determine the cause of the infections.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection typically go away within a couple of days of the start of treatment, according to Mayo Clinic; however, it is important that the entire course of antibiotics is taken to prevent the re-growth of any lingering bacteria still present. For people with recurrent urinary tract infections, longer courses of antibiotics as well as prophylactic antibiotics may be recommended to prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections.