Urinary tract infection is an infection of the organs that produce urine and transports it out of the body system. This involves the organs like the bladder, the kidneys as well as the tubes that connect these organs. Usually, urinary tract infection only affects the bladder. However, if the bladder infection is not treated right away, it may worsen and affect the kidneys, which are a more serious kind of infection, causing serious and permanent damage. Urinary tract infection is a common kind of infection among adults and even in children. A high number of initial urine infection occurrences are common among children and highest in incidence during first year in life.
Uncomplicated Urine Infection Treatment
Antibiotics are prescribed in treating urinary tract infection in both adults and children. These types of medications are typically successful in treating most of the urinary tract infections. The main objective in treating the infection is to relieve the patient from the usual uncomfortable symptoms, eliminate the bacteria causing the infection, to prevent its recurrence and to even prevent the improbable however serious complications the infection may cause like sepsis or kidney damage. Antibiotics are given after the confirmation of urinary tract infection via urinalysis. The dosage of antibiotics given will depend of the type of antibiotic to be used and the type of bacteria causing the infection; it will also depend on the age of the patient, if patient is an adult or a child and on the severity of the infection. The antibiotics which are commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections are amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim and nitrofurantoin.
The uncomplicated urine infection treatment or specifically treatments for bladder infections may involve the combination of antibiotics and home treatment. Home treatment includes consumption of plenty of fluids such as water and emptying the bladder by frequently urinating. Sometimes, pain medications are also given to address the painful symptoms of the urinary tract infection. The symptoms may clear after a few days of taking antibiotics; however, it is essential to complete the duration of taking antibiotics for optimum results and to ensure that the infection completely clears. Doctors may need to request for the patient’s urinalysis in order to determine if the infection has totally cleared. This is essential because a urinary tract infection which is not completely treated may cause complications or recurrence of the infection.
Antibiotics are also the urine infection treatment of choice for more serious kinds of infection like kidney infections. It can usually treat this kind of infection as well. However, kidney infections tend to make affected patients be more severely ill compared to bladder infections. If patients get severely ill or to sick to take oral antibiotics, hospitalization may be required to get an intravenous administration of antibiotics.
More caution is taken or other tests are required in treating pregnant women, male patients, patients who are older than 65 years of age, patients with weakened immune system and have diabetes.
Treating worsened or recurring Urinary Tract Infection
The urine infection treatment for women with recurring urinary tract infection may involve preventive antibiotic therapy. The doctor may prescribe a longer duration of antibiotic therapy or short duration therapy at the beginning of urinary tract infection symptoms. Patient may also be advised to take home urine tests to check for infections. One dose of antibiotic may also be advised after a sexual intercourse if the infection is due to this activity. Vaginal estrogen therapy may also be prescribed for postmenopausal women to prevent recurring urinary tract infections.
Additional antibiotics and more assessment are needed for patients whose urinary tract infection did not improve after initial treatment with antibiotics. Hospital care is needed if the worsened infection affects kidney functions, causes complications, causing the infection to spread to the blood which is called sepsis, and if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing the infection. People with diabetes or other medical conditions affecting the urinary tract, with impaired immune system or with untreated obstruction of the urinary tract are at higher risk of complications.
Although it has not been proven, there are indications that drinking cranberry juice daily helps prevent urinary tract infections due to its infection-fighting properties. Studies have shown that it is most effective in women with frequent urinary tract infections while studies in children and some other adult patients showed varied results. An exact amount and frequency of drinking cranberry juice has not been determined yet in preventing urinary tract infection. Note that this is contraindicated to patients taking blood thinning medications such as warfarin due to the risk of bleeding. Caution is still advised for some people have reported experiencing stomach upset and diarrhea in drinking cranberry juice.