What is the Best Antibiotic for Urinary Tract Infection?

The urinary tract is comprised of the ureters (tubes that transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder), kidneys, bladder, and urethra (tube running from the bladder to the outside of the body).  Urinary tract infections wake forest nc (UTIs) are most commonly located in the urethra and bladder and while typically caused by bacteria, UTIs can also be viral or fungal.  For patients suffering from a bacterial UTI, they may be curious about what antibiotics are the best for treating their infection.

Most Common Bacteria that Cause UTIs

Based on a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the bacteria most commonly associated with causing UTIs are:

  • Escherichia coli (E Coli)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Streptococcus spp.
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Enterococci

Based on the symptoms the patient is experiencing and before any testing is done to officially determine the infection type, the doctor prescribes first line antibiotics.  For most UTIs, the prescribed antibiotic will cure the infection and not require any further testing.

First Line Antibiotics for a UTI

  • Ampicillin
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Fosfomycin (Monurol)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)

Notably absent from the list of antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of UTIs is Amoxicillin.  While very popular and useful in treating numerous other bacterial infections, urinary tract infections are not amongst the infections Amoxicillin is used for.

Antibiotic Treatment Process

Once an antibiotic treatment regimen is started, patients can expect to feel relief from their UTI symptoms in as little as one or two days.  The severity of the infection will ultimately determine how long the doctor prescribes the antibiotic.  Mild UTIs that are uncomplicated, could be treated by antibiotics in as few as three days.  However, some doctors may require the antibiotics be taken for a week to ensure the infection is fully cleared and if the UTI is complicated, antibiotic treatments could last for up to two weeks.

Despite feeling better and having symptoms improve after initially starting antibiotic treatments, patients need to realize that they are not fully recovered and that some bacteria could remain in their urinary tract.  If antibiotics are discontinued too early, any remaining bacteria are given the opportunity to reproduce.  Since these bacteria were exposed to antibiotics, there is a possibility that the reproduced bacteria will be resistant to antibiotics and lead to a significantly worse infection that is more difficult to treat.  As such, taking the antibiotic for the entire duration of the prescription time is vitally important to ensuring the bacteria is fully removed.

Should a patient take the prescribed antibiotics for several days without seeing improvement to their UTI, there are two possibilities.  First, the infection may not be bacterial.  Second, the antibiotic may not be effective in fighting off the particular bacteria causing the UTI.  In either situation, additional urine testing will be done to check for different viruses, fungi, and bacteria that could be causing the UTI in order to formulate a different treatment plan.  Lab results are typically back in 2-3 days at which point the doctor can prescribe a new treatment plan.

Antibiotic Side Effects

Like any medication, antibiotics do have the potential to cause side effects.  The most common side effects related to the use of antibiotics are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Nerve or tendon damage

More on Urinary Tract Infections : Diagnosing and Treating a Urinary Tract Infection