Antibiotics for UTI
Lately you’ve been going to the bathroom more frequently than usual and it burns when you urinate. Could it be a UTI? What is a UTI? Are antibiotics used for UTI? Are UTIs contagious? Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to know about UTIs.
What is a UTI?
UTI is short for urinary tract infection and refers to an infection that takes place anywhere in your urinary tract. Your urinary tract is your entire urinary system, from your kidneys down to your urethra. Your urethra is the tube that takes urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection.
UTIs are typically caused by bacteria, although they can occasionally be caused by viruses or other microorganisms.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
Symptoms of a UTI will vary based on a person’s age, gender, and where in the urinary tract the infection is located. Common symptoms of a UTI include:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Frequent urination
- The sensation of needing to urinate urgently
- Cloudy, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
- Abdominal, pelvic, lower back, or side pressure or pain
- Poor appetite
90% of UTIs are caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, which is found in human stool. Most UTIs that are caused by this bacteria being transferred from the anus to the urethra, where it may progress up the urinary tract.
There are many different groups of people that are more susceptible to UTIs, including:
- Women, since their urethra is much closer to their anus than men
- People with conditions that block the urinary tract, like kidney stones
- Those who can’t fully empty their bladder, such as those with spinal cord injuries
- Postmenopausal women
- People with suppressed immune systems.
- Men with an enlarged prostate
- Women who are breastfeeding
- Women who are sexually active
Are UTIs contagious?
No, UTIs are not contagious, however you can get UTIs from having sex. A UTI can occur after sexual intercourse if bacteria gets pushed up into the urethra. This can be prevented by urinating post-fornication.
What are the treatments for UTI?
Most UTIs will require treatment with antibiotics, although there are some things you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms.
- Try cranberry juice, supplements, or dried cranberries
- Drink plenty of water
- Urinate frequently
- Take probiotics
- Eat garlic
- Drink apple cider vinegar or take an apple cider vinegar supplement
- Increase your vitamin C intake
- Use a hot water bottle to relieve pain
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods which can all irritate your bladder.
Antibiotics for UTI
Antibiotics are often required to cure UTIs. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for UTI include:
- Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim)
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid)
Always make sure to take the entire course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, even if you’re feeling better. Failure to finish a full course of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Cipro for UTI
Cipro is the brand name for ciprofloxacin, which is frequently prescribed to treat UTIs. It is available as an oral tablet or a liquid suspension. It’s very effective but may cause side effects, which can include:
- Liver damage
- Tendon rupture
- Allergic reaction
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Intestinal infection
- Changes in feeling
- Seizures or tremors
Think you may need antibiotics for a UTI? Book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor and get your prescription today.
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