Antibiotics are the best line of treatment for treating UTIs in men and women. (Even vets prescribe antibiotics for UTIs in dogs and cats). Today, we will be enlisting the common antibiotics which really work in treating bladder infections quickly, provided they are taken as prescribed. We will also study contraindications and side effects of these UTI antibiotics.
What are the top antibiotics for treating UTIs?
The antibiotics which typically work on the e.coli bacteria causing the UTIs are:
These UTI antibiotics work directly on the bacteria that cause the infection and clear it within 3 to 5 days. Many trials have been conducted on these drugs-they used control groups that were given placebo or dummy medication while another group was put on these antibiotics. The trial showed that women who took the UTI antibiotics actually recovered faster and had complete relief from the pain and burning associated with the bladder infection. Nearly 62% women in the group were symptom free by the end of the trial, whereas, from the placebo group, only 26% women experienced relief from UTI symptoms.
Another group of antibiotics called Quinolones also help relieve UTI symptoms but they work differently than conventional antibiotics and target the enzymes that the bacteria require to live. Your doctor might take your urine culture to determine which class of medication is best suited for you. Further evaluation might also be done of the basis of the following factors:
- Can you tolerate antibiotics?
- Are you pregnant?
- Are you allergic to any medication?
- Could the bacteria be resistant to the drugs?
- How sensitive are the bacteria to the UTI antibiotics of choice?
Who are the best candidates for UTI antibiotics?
Doctors generally prescribe antibiotics in the following cases:
- In women suffering from frequent UTIs –at least 2 per year or once every 6 months
- Expecting women with UTI (those known for suffering frequently from UTIs during or before pregnancy)
- Patients on catheters
- People having certain illnesses, especially spinal injuries or other nervous system disorders, that affect urination
- Those having had kidney diseases or kidney transplant
- Patients about to have surgery related to the urinary system
- As preventive therapy for elderly or bedridden patients who suffer frequently from UTIs
How long do UTI antibiotics take to work?
As soon as you start taking the medication, you will likely feel better after 1 or 2 doses. Despite that, you shouldn’t stop the medicine dosage but must complete the entire course. Failure to do so might cause the infection to recur.
When antibiotics are prescribed as preventive medication, they must be taken only under the watchful eye of an urologist. Many experts are divided on this, because they believe that infection will recur anyway, once the antibiotics are stopped.
Do UTI antibiotics have any adverse effects?
As in the case of any medication, certain amount of side effects are always likely. However, most negative effects reduce or disappear after taking the drugs for a few days. Mild side effects include: stomachache, gastric distress, nausea, vomiting, headaches etc. The more severe effects include swelling of face and tongue, shortness of breath, hives, itchy skin etc. If these occur, call your doctor immediately.S/he might lower the dosage or change the medicine.
All medications will also have a list of their individual side effects listed on their bottle, or your pharmacist might tell you about them. Despite these, it is important to note that the positive results of the UTI antibiotics are far greater than their negative effects.So do continue taking the medication as prescribed and until you have finished the complete course.