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How to treat a urinary tract infection

Treatment for urinary tract infection, in short UTI, is usually done with the use of antibiotics prescribed by a physician, such as Ciprofloxacin or Fosfomycin, to eliminate excess bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, that are causing the infection.

However, there are also some home remedies such as cranberry juice that can treat the infection when it is emerging or that can be used to complement medical treatment.

It is important to follow some other cautions, such as drinking water and maintaining proper genital hygiene, to speed recovery and prevent the infection from recurring.

How to treat a urinary tract infection

List of recommended medication

The main types of medication used to treat UTI are antibiotics, because they eliminate the bacteria ad painkillers, that help to alleviate the symptoms in the first few days.

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a doctor. The most common used to treat UTI are:

  • Fosfomycin;
  • Ciprofloxacin;
  • Levofloxacin;
  • Cephalexin;
  • Amoxicillin;
  • Rocephin;
  • Azithromycin;
  • Doxycycline.

These antibiotics should be taken until the last day the doctor prescribed, usually 7 to 14 days, even if the symptoms have disappeared, to ensure that the urinary tract infection has been cured.

This is because, if you stop taking the medication before this date, bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, may not have been completely eliminated and may generate a new UTI.

For infants older than 2 months, the pediatrician often chooses to use other antibiotics, such as amoxicillin with clavulanate or sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim, for example.

2. Painkillers

Phenazopyridine is the main analgesic prescribed by the doctor because its action reduces the amount of spasms and anesthesia to the bladder and urethra, relieving symptoms like pain when urinating or burning sensation throughout the day. This medication can be purchased from conventional pharmacies under the name Azo Urinary pain relief or Pyridium, for example.

The most common analgesics, such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, may also help relieve some of the symptoms, especially when they are not very intense.

Find out more about the main medications used to treat UTI.

Natural treatment option

A great natural treatment for urinary tract infection is the consumption of a fruit called cranberry, in its natural form, such as a juice or in capsule form. Cranberry has a high content of proanthocyanidins, substances that make it difficult for the Escherichia coli bacterium to adhere to the urinary tract, reducing the chances of the disease.

However, about 70% of urinary tract infections can be prevented just with adequate water intake and therefore it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day.

How to cure UTI in pregnancy

The treatment for urinary tract infection in pregnant woman is also done with the use of antibiotics, and the safest drugs against urinary infection at this stage are amoxicillin and cephalexin, which can be used in any trimester.

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