Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections

Keyword: complicated uti, uncomplicated uti, prevention of uti

Introduction urinary tract infections (UTI) are an infection of any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters or the urethra. It may also involve more than one part at a time. As discomforting as it might be, it is one of those diseases that have the most definite treatment in modern day medicine. The treatment in relation to the part involved and the nature of the disease has been discussed below.

Treatment of uncomplicated disease Though most of the infections will settle on their own in a matter of few days, yet it is always advisable to get medication to reduce the chances of spread of disease to the upper tract, apart from decreasing the days of discomfort. Many medicines have been tried but the best results have been seen by the use of

  • Trimethoprim + Sulfamethoxazole              (TMP/SMX)
  • Cephalosporins
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Flouroquinolones

Some societies put TMP/SMX as the first line of treatment for uncomplicated disease rather than flouroquinolones so as to reduce resistance to the latter group for more complicated cases. Usually a three days course with either of these two groups is enough, with TMP/SMX taken preferably before retiring to bed to ensure high concentrations of the drug in the urine over night, whereas nitrofurantoin requires a seven day treatment course.

Urinary Tract Infections – Treatment of complicated disease

A complex disease is the one that has travelled to the upper urinary tract and is termed as Pyelonephritis if it has involved the kidney(s). More aggressive treatment is advised for such infections. Following drugs have proved themselves over a long period of time for the treatment of complicated infections

  • Flouroquinolones
  • Gentamicin + Ampicillin/Ceftriaxone

These drugs or urinary tract infections are to be continued for 48 hours after the resolution of fever. If there is poor response as to the subsiding of fever, an abscess formation should always be considered and dealt with accordingly.Urinary tract infections


Treatment of recurrent urinary tract infections
As easy and sure the treatment modalities are, owing to the commonality of the causative factors and habits such as inappropriate cleaning of genitalia and use of spermicidal creams, frequent translocation of E.coli from the perianal to periuretheral area in females etc., recurrence is not an uncommon thing to happen.  Recurrent infection should be treated by the drugs mentioned previously and self medication should be started without any delay. But incase the symptoms do not resolve the doctor should be consulted right away and the switching of regimen would be a good option.

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections

So true it is in the case of many infections especially urinary tract infections that prevention is better than cure, this disease being one of the most easily preventable ones. It however, requires some little and easy modifications in one’s life style. Discussed below are a few of these changes that can help you in keeping yourself away from this group of infections.

  1. Modification of one’s cleaning habits should be brought about by frequent washing of the genitalia. It has also been recommended by certain studies that the use of a white colored toilet paper might reduce the incidence of infections.
  2. For females wiping off should always be in a direction from front to back in a single stroke and not from back to front. This would reduce the translocation of the perianal bacteria as mentioned earlier.
  3. For males, retraction of the foreskin to reduce the chances of any urine lingering at the uretheral orifice might reduce chances of it acting as a culture medium for the pathogens.
  4. Some studies also suggest that washing before having intercourse and urinating immediately after it helps prevent urinary tract infections such as recurrent urethritis and/or cystitis.
  5. It is also advisable not to use anything that causes irritation of the perineal area including tight undergarments and other clothing, deodorant sprays, hair removal products and other such products.
  6. Absorptive under wears should be used to keep oneself dry.

Home remedy for Urinary tract infections

Last but not least, one glass of cranberry juice daily or an ounce of dried cranberries daily helps fight the pathogenic agents responsible for UTIs, as emphasized by certain nutritionists and clinicians.