How are urinary tract infections treated?

Antibiotics, medicines that kill the bacteria, are used to treat urinary tract infections. Your doctor will choose a drug that best treats the bacteria causing your infection. Commonly used antibiotics include:

  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs)
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalosporins
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim®)
  • Doxycycline
  • Quinolones (such as ciprofloxacin [Cipro®])

It is very important that you follow your doctor's directions for taking the medicine. Do not stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.

What are the complications of a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection that is not treated can lead to a more serious infection of the kidneys.

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