Oral antibiotics can treat most bladder infections and uncomplicated kidney infections successfully. In many cases, if the symptoms and urinalysis suggest a urinary tract infection (UTI), you will start taking antibiotics without waiting for the results of a urine culture.
The number of days your doctor will have you take antibiotics depends on your infection and the type of antibiotic medicine.
Antibiotics for recurrent infections
Doctors sometimes advise that women with repeat infections use preventive antibiotic therapy. This may include taking a small dose of antibiotics daily or on alternate days, taking antibiotics after sexual intercourse (since sex often triggers UTIs in women with recurrent infections), or taking antibiotics only when you develop symptoms. Talk with your doctor about which treatment strategy is right for you.
Medicines used to treat UTIs include:
Medicines used to prevent recurrent UTIs include:
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are or think you may be pregnant. Some of these medicines are not safe to use if you are pregnant.
What to think about
These medicines are often prescribed in a less costly generic form rather than under a brand name. A pharmacist might also decide to give you a generic instead of a brand name medicine unless the prescription says "no generic."
Take all of the antibiotics your doctor has prescribed. Most people begin to feel better soon after they begin the medicine. But if you stop taking the medicine as soon as you feel better, the infection may return. And not taking the full course of antibiotics encourages the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This not only makes antibiotics less effective but also makes bacterial infections harder to treat.