When You Need Themand When You Dont
Antibiotics are medicines that can kill bacteria. Doctors often use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections . The main symptoms of UTIs are:
- A burning feeling when you urinate.
- A strong urge to urinate often.
However, many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Heres why:
Antibiotics usually dont help when there are no UTI symptoms.
Older people often have some bacteria in their urine. This does not mean they have a UTI. But doctors may find the bacteria in a routine test and give antibiotics anyway.
The antibiotic does not help these patients.
- It does not prevent UTIs.
- It does not help bladder control.
- It does not help memory problems or balance.
Most older people should not be tested or treated for a UTI unless they have UTI symptoms. And if you do have a UTI and get treated, you usually dont need another test to find out if you are cured. You should only get tested or treated if UTI symptoms come back.
Antibiotics have side effects.
Antibiotics can have side effects, such as fever, rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, tendon ruptures, and nerve damage.
Antibiotics can cause future problems.
Antibiotics can kill friendly germs in the body. This can lead to vaginal yeast infections. It can also lead to other infections, and severe diarrhea, hospitalization, and even death.
Antibiotics can be a waste of money.
When should older people take antibiotics for a UTI?
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when people do not follow a doctors instructions to complete the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue a course of antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. People should also never share antibiotics with others.
Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
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Taking Antibiotics Incorrectly Or Being Prescribed Incorrect Antibiotics
Problems with antibiotic treatment are one of the most common reasons for lingering UTI symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics targeted to treat your bacterial infection. The treatment typically lasts one to two weeks. If you do not take your antibiotic correctly, the infection can return.
To complete your full course of treatment:
- Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better
- Do not save antibiotics for another time or take antibiotics that were not prescribed to you
- Do not share antibiotics with others
Stopping your antibiotics before your final dose leaves you vulnerable to more serious infections like a kidney infection.
Its also possible that the type of bacteria causing your infection may not respond to antibiotics. One study of 670,450 women found that nearly half were prescribed the wrong antibiotic for their uncomplicated UTI. They were also often kept on antibiotics longer than necessary .
Treating Lower Back Pain Related Uti Symptoms
So, now we know that UTI can cause lower back pain on one side or even both. Lets follow ut with treatment options. Persistent bladder infections can be treated using single lower everyday dosages of antibiotics. Women with propensity of establishing UTIs following sexual relations can likewise take a single dosage of antibiotic instantly after sex. Numerous physicians likewise encourage patients to self treat their UTI symptoms using 3-day antibiotic courses as soon as they take place. One can even take a fever reduce/pain killer such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen to ease the UTI back pain on one side. Sleeping with a warm water bag can likewise alleviate symptoms of abdominal pain and UTI back ache.
Sometimes, there are no symptoms accompanying the bladder infection-known as asymptomatic UTIs. These typically lead the patient to have a bladder infection for long time. Just a chance/ regular urine assessment reveals existence of bacteria in the urine. Naturally, no treatment is required, however, pregnant women, children or those with risk of developing a kidney infection must be treated instantly nevertheless.
Back pain specifically UTI associated lower back pain on the right side ought to not be ignored. See your doctor instantly if the pain returns shortly after you have been treated with antibiotics.
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Practice Good Sexual Hygiene
Some sexual intercourse bacteria and other microbes into the urinary tract. Practicing good sexual hygiene can help to reduce this risk.
Examples of good sexual hygiene include:
- urinating before and immediately after sex
- using barrier contraception, such as a condom
- washing the genitals, especially the foreskin, before and after engaging in sexual acts or intercourse
- washing the genitals or changing condoms if switching from anal to vaginal sex
- ensuring that all sexual partners are aware of any current or past UTIs
Benefits Of Antibiotics For Utis
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs because they kill the bacteria responsible for the infections. Most UTIs develop when bacteria enter the urinary tract from outside the body. The species most likely to cause UTIs include:
- E. coli, which cause of up to
- abnormal liver function, as indicated with testing
More severe risks of using antibiotics include:
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Other Ways To Prevent Cystitis Coming Back
If you keep getting cystitis, there is some evidence you may find it helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar. If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 11 February 2022 Next review due: 11 February 2025
Pain Relief Medication For Urinary Tract Infections
Phenazopyridine is the go-to pain reliever for UTIs, as it is specifically formulated to ease the most common urinary symptoms, including:
- The frequent urge to urinate
It is and unapproved medication that is available over the counter or in prescription form. It comes in several brand names and generic options.
Phenazopyridine is not an antibiotic, and it is only used for symptom relief. It will not help cure the infection. Its typically taken 3 times per day after each meal with a large glass of water. The medicine may discolor your urine temporarily to a brownish-red color, but this is a harmless side effect.
Evidence is lacking that taking phenazopyridine and an antibacterial is more beneficial than just the antibacterial by itself after two days. Therefore, phenazopyridine should not be taken for longer than two days when youre taking an antibacterial simultaneously.
Other over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also help alleviate urinary tract pain symptoms, as well as full-body symptoms such as fever.If you are taking an antibiotic, your healthcare provider or pharmacist can help you choose the best analgesic option that wont interact with your antibiotic.
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Role Of The Pharmacist
It is imperative that pharmacists urge patients who present with UTI symptoms to consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible to receive appropriate care. Pharmacists should counsel patients on nonpharmacologic treatments and present the option of nonprescription products and UTI home test kits. Patients who decide to use UTI home test kits should be advised on how to avoid inaccurate results and to discuss their results with their healthcare provider. Patients who decide to use OTC urinary tract analgesics should be counseled on the recommended maximum dosage and duration and on common AEs. It is imperative to remind patients that these products are intended only to provide relief of pain and other related symptoms until the healthcare provider is seen. These products do not eradicate bacteria or replace the use of antibiotic treatment, and they should not be used as monotherapy.
How To Treat Urinary Tract Infection At Home
Here are 20 effective and natural remedies for a bladder infection that are inexpensive, harmless, and easy to use at home.
1. Drink Plenty of Water: Water is a great cleansing agent and helps in flushing out the harmful bacteria in the form of diluted urine. So, drink lots of water for quick relief from a bladder infection.
2. Baking Soda: You just need to mix a spoonful of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it. Repeat this remedy daily till the symptoms subside completely.
3. Cranberry Juice: Cranberry juice is an effective home remedy to stop bladder infections in pregnant women. Cranberry contains enzymes, which are really beneficial in treating a bladder infection. Therefore, drinking cranberry juice will let you get rid of a bladder infection quickly.
Note: Avoid intake of cranberry juice if you or any family member of yours has a history of kidney stones, or if you are taking medicines for thinning the blood.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak in water, containing apple cider vinegar. It will greatly reduce the burning sensation that is caused while urinating due to a bladder infection.
5. Yoghurt: Eating yogurt is also beneficial as it contains acidophilus, which helps in curing bladder infection.
6. Heating Pad: In order to ease out the pain, caused due to a bladder infection, use a heating pad over the abdominal area.
9. Drumstick Flowers: Mix a teaspoon of juice of drumstick flowers in Â½ glass of coconut water. Drink it at least 2 times a day.
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Treatment For Cystitis That Keeps Coming Back
If you keep getting cystitis, a GP may prescribe:
- a single-dose antibiotic to take within 2 hours of having sex, if you’ve noticed sex triggers cystitis
- a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- a vaginal oestrogen cream, if you have gone through the menopause
In some women, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection even though you have cystitis symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term bladder infection that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatment.
Long-term infections are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, thereâs no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Conversations about urinary symptoms can be uncomfortable, but if youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a UTI, its best to seek medical advice. Your provider can order tests if needed, discuss treatment options, and help you understand the cause of your infection, as well as providing strategies to prevent recurrences.
The sooner you seek help, the sooner those painful symptoms will be goneand you can go back to getting a good nights sleep.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
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Avoid Bladder Irritating Foods When You Have A Uti
Certain foods are known bladder irritants â citrus or very acidic foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol â these can all irritate the bladder, leading to bladder leaks. And, if you currently have a UTI, they may affect you even more. Try to watch out for these common bladder irritants to prevent further irritation to your bladder and UTI.
Easy Homeopathic Remedies For Bladder Infections
1. Cantharis: When the person experiences acute pain along with a sudden urge to urinate but is not able to urinate, this remedy is used.
2. Pulsatilla: This remedy is helpful when there is frequent pain along with a sudden urge to urinate and the infection commences after getting the feet cold and wet.
3. Nux vomica: This remedy can be taken when there is a frequent urge to urinate and the urge never gets fully satisfied, even after urination.
4. Sarsaparilla: This remedy is recommended when the person feels a burning pain while urinating, due to a bladder infection.
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Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
How Do I Know If The Treatment Isnt Working
If the treatment isnt working, your symptoms will stay the same, get worse, or you will develop new symptoms. Call your doctor if you have a fever , chills, lower stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. You should also call your doctor if, after taking medicine for 3 days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. If you are pregnant, you should also call your doctor if you have any contractions.
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How To Relieve Uti Pain At Night
If youve ever had a urinary tract infection , you know they can cause incredible pain and discomfort.
The symptoms of a UTI can result in disturbed, restless nights with burning sensations, frequent urges to urinate, and sometimes abdominal or flank pain and cramping.
While UTI treatment requires a course of prescription antibiotics, there are also home remedies and over-the-counter treatments that can help relieve pain so you can sleep.
In this article, Ill go over a few of these remedies, the common symptoms of UTIs, ways to prevent future infections, and discuss when its time to speak with a healthcare provider about your symptoms.
Not Being Able To Empty Your Bladder
If you’re unable to empty your bladder fully, any bacteria that get inside may not be flushed out when you go to the toilet and can multiply more easily.
You may not be able to empty your bladder fully if:
- you have a blockage in your urinary system, such as a bladder stone
- you’re pregnant, as the baby may be pressing on your bladder
- you have an enlarged prostate gland that presses on the urethra
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