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What is a UTI?
An infection in a part of your urinary system is termed a urinary tract infection (UTI). The urinary tract mainly includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The urethra and bladder are referred to as the lower tract, and the ureter and kidneys are referred to as the lower tract. Most infections involve the lower part, but upper tract UTIs can lead to more complications.
Causes of a UTI
Urinary tract infections occur due to bacteria entering the urinary tract through the urethra and multiplying in the bladder. Bacteria, mainly Ecoli, cause UTIs, but fungi or viruses may be the culprit in some cases. Women are more prone to developing a UTI because they have a short urethra making it easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder.
Symptoms of UTI
Some symptoms of UTI include:
- Burning or pain with urination
- Increased frequency of urination
- Increased urgency of urination
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in the urine (red, bright pink, or cola-coloured urine)
- Strong odour
- Pelvic pain (in women)
- Rectal pain(in men)
If the UTI involves the kidneys, the infection can be potentially life-threatening. Additional symptoms that suggest the involvement of the upper tract include:
- High-grade fever
- Pain and tenderness in the upper back or sides(flank pain)
Best Antibiotics For UTIs
UTIs are curable and should be treated at the right time to prevent complications such as kidney infections. If you have developed symptoms of a UTI, the fastest way to get relief is by taking an antibiotic to treat the condition.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics used for treating UTIs include:
1. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim DS):
General information: This combination drug contains two antibiotics: trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, also known as TMP/SMX. It is often the first choice because it effectively relieves the symptoms rapidly. However, if a person is allergic to sulfa drugs, other options are considered.
Dosage: One double-strength tablet (160 mg of trimethoprim/800 mg of sulfamethoxazole) twice a day for 3-7 days.
Side effects: Some common side effects of TMP/SMX are rash, nausea, and vomiting. Rare but more side effects include dangerous skin conditions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS).
2. Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid):
General information: This drug is another first choice for treating UTIs. Nitrofurantoin works by preventing bacteria from making the DNA material, thereby stopping them from multiplying.
Dosage: 100 mg twice a day for 5-7 days
Side effects: Common side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. More severe side effects include liver conditions like jaundice and hepatitis.
3. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro):
General Information: Ciprofloxacin keeps bacteria from copying their DNA and multiplying. It works quickly but is prescribed for minor UTIs as increasing antibacterial resistance is a concern and needs to be addressed while prescribing this medication. Additionally, the risk of severe side effects is higher.
Dosage: 250 mg twice a day for 3-5 days
500mg twice daily for 5-7 days
Side effects: Ciprofloxacin can lead to serious side effects like tendon rupture and it can affect your nervous system. Common side effects include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, or a rash.
4. Fosfomycin (Monurol):
General information: Fosfomycin is useful in treating UTIs caused by resistant bacteria. It works well against infections that are not treated by the usual antibiotics. It kills bacteria causing a UTI and prevents them from sticking to the urinary tract lining as well.
Dosage: A single dose containing 3 grams of fosfomycin powder mixed in water.
Side effects: Fosfomycin can cause nausea, diarrhoea, and headaches.
The duration of treatment usually varies from patient to patient and is according to the intensity of the symptoms. Mostly the course of treatment ranges from 3 to 7 days but can be up to 14 days in case of a severe infection.
Within the first two days of starting your antibiotics, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms. It may, however, take longer for symptoms to improve if the infection is severe.
What happens if you don’t treat a UTI?
Starting proper treatment at the right time helps prevent severe infections in the lower urinary tract infections. However, a UTI can lead to complications such as recurrent UTIs, kidney damage, or sepsis if left untreated. Starting antibiotics at the right time after consulting a doctor will help you avoid such a fate.
If you are currently experiencing pain while urinating or are miserable because of endless trips to the bathroom, connect with us right away to get advice on how to get rid of a UTI quickly and for urinary tract infection treatment!
When to consult a doctor
To determine the best course of antibiotics for you, it is best to consult with a health care provider. You can do so by consulting an online doctor at Your Doctors Online. We have the most straightforward way in place for you to get antibiotics and get instant UTI relief. The doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics delivered to the pharmacy of your choice. There is no need to wait or suffer; get your UTI medication online right away!
FAQS About UTIs Answered By Your Doctors Online Team