Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Urinary Tract Infections in Children - Medications

    Oral antibiotic medicine usually is effective in treating urinary tract infections (UTIs). In many cases, if the symptoms and urinalysis suggest a UTI, the doctor will start medicine without waiting for the results of a urine culture.

    The doctor may give intravenous (IV) antibiotics if your baby is:

    Recommended Related to Children

    Bedwetting: What Causes It?

    Waking in the middle of the night to change your child's sheets after a bedwetting episode is practically a rite of passage for parents. And it's more common than you think. "I call it the hidden problem of childhood," says Howard Bennett, MD, a pediatrician and author of Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting. "Unlike asthma or allergies, it's just not talked about outside the house."

    Read the Bedwetting: What Causes It? article > >

    • Younger than 3 months.
    • Too ill or nauseated to take oral medicine.
    • Very sick with a severe kidney infection.

    The doctor will stop the IV medicine and begin oral medicine treatment after your child is stabilized and feeling better.

    Preventive antibiotics

    To prevent kidney damage that can result from recurrent infection, the doctor may prescribe long-term treatment with antibiotics for children who are at risk for repeat infections. The doctor may consider preventive antibiotics:

    • While waiting for the results of tests done after treatment for a child's first UTI.
    • If tests show a structural problem in the urinary tract, such as vesicoureteral reflux, that increases the child's risk for recurrent UTIs.
    • For children who have frequent UTIs, with or without an abnormality of the urinary tract.

    Preventive treatment may last from several months to several years. Experts disagree about the best approach. Some doctors believe that long-term use of low-dose antibiotics can safely prevent UTIs in children, especially in children who have vesicoureteral reflux. Whether long-term antibiotics prevent kidney damage needs more study. Some doctors are more hesitant about prescribing antibiotics for long-term use because of increasing concern about the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Medication choices

    Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that cause UTIs.

    What to think about

    Give your child the antibiotics as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of medicine. Your child may begin to feel better soon after starting the medicine. But if you stop giving your child the medicine too soon, the infection may return or get worse. Also, not taking the full course of medicine encourages the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This makes antibiotics less effective and future bacterial infections harder to treat.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Child Coughing or Sneezing into Elbow
    Article