Antibiotics to Treat Urinary Tract Infections

November 12, 2012

Antibiotics to Treat Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, occurs anywhere along the urinary tract, and may affect bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra. It is most commonly caused by bacteria, and may be treated with prescription antibiotics.

Salient Features of UTI

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder. It may further spread to kidneys as well. Women are at a greater risk of UTI due to the anatomy of their urinary tract. Diabetes, old age, urinary retention, incontinence and catheterization may increase your risk. Symptoms include cloudy or bloody urine, low fever, pain or burning with urination, and abdominal cramps. If you experience any or some of these symptoms, you should talk to a doctor to identify the underlying cause.

After a through physical examination, our doctor may recommend urine analysis and culture to confirm the diagnosis of UTI. The bacteria Escherichia coli or E.coli is the most common culprit of the disease. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for UTI.

Antibiotics for UTI in Men and Women

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or TMP-SMX, and fluoroquinolones are the most popular antibiotics for UTI treatment in both men and women. Your doctor may also recommend tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, penicillin like amoxicillin and cephalosporins. Some of you may be allergic to certain antibiotics. Your doctor may help identify these symptoms, and recommend alternatives to you.

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole may also affect the effectiveness of contraceptives. Fluoroquinolones, such as ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and levofloxacin, should not be used in pregnant women. Doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline belong to the class of tetracycline antibiotics, and are popular antibiotics for UTI caused by Mycoplasma or Chlamydia. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are relatively expensive, and are used to treat serious infections only.

Antibiotics for UTI in Pregnancy

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of UTI because of the pressure exerted by the uterus on their bladder. However, you should be very careful while taking any kind of medications. This is because certain antibiotics and medications can cause adverse reactions in your fetus or newborn baby. Most experts may recommend antibiotics such as cephalosporins and nitrofurantoin, especially for recurrent infections during pregnancy. Other antibiotics for UTI in pregnant women include fosfomycin, erythromycin, amoxicillin, ampicillin, penicillin, sulfisoxazole and cephalexin.

You should always avoid tetracycline and fluoroquinolones class of antibiotics during pregnancy.

Antibiotics for UTI While Breastfeeding

Just as antibiotics may enter your fetus though the placenta during pregnancy, they can enter into the bloodstream of your newborn baby via breast milk and produce unwanted side effects. Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, nitrofurantoins, sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin are safe antibiotics for UTI in nursing mothers.

It is important to use antibiotics responsibly. You should only use them under the supervision of a doctor, and follow all the instructions carefully.


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