Antibiotics For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for kidney infections. The drugs used and the length of time of the treatment depend on your health and the bacteria found in your urine tests.
Symptoms of a kidney infection often begin to clear up within a few days of treatment. But you might need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Finish taking the full course of antibiotics even if you start feeling better.
Your provider might want you to have a repeat urine culture test to make sure that the infection has cleared. If the infection is still present, you’ll need to take another course of antibiotics.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection occurs anywhere in the urinary tract system, which is made up of several different organs. To understand what a urinary tract infection is, we must first understand the urinary tract and the organs that comprise it.
The urinary tract organs are meant to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. They include:
- The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
- The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
- The bladder: This organ stores urine until you feel the need to pee. The body involuntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
- The urethra: This tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you pee, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.
The urethra and bladder make up the lower urinary tract, and the ureters and kidneys the upper urinary tract. A bacterial infection in any of these four areas is considered a UTI. This includes both bladder and kidney infections.
Dont Take Leftover Medicine
Dr. Propst maintains that she typically does not recommend home remedies for the treatment of UTIs. But she also cautions you should also avoid digging around in your medicine cabinet and taking any old leftover antibiotics that you might have stashed there. Those antibiotics may not work at all for UTIs, she says. They may not even get to the bladder.
Plus, you run the risk of contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. The bacteria youre trying to kill off might survive the mismatched or old antibiotic and survive, but then it may be harder to find another antibiotic that can get rid of it.
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Are There Any Complications From A Kidney Infection
Most people who develop a kidney infection make a full recovery if treatment is given promptly. Possible complications which occur in a small number of cases include:
- Sometimes germs from a kidney infection get into the bloodstream, particularly if treatment is delayed. This may cause blood poisoning . This can be serious or even life-threatening.
- In pregnant women who develop pyelonephritis occasionally, it may result in the baby being born early or with a lower birth weight.
- A kidney abscess can develop. This is a collection of pus that forms within the kidney.
- The infection can sometimes cause some permanent damage to kidney tissues.
These complications are uncommon but may be more likely if:
- You become severely ill with the kidney infection.
- You have kidney stones.
- Your immune system is suppressed – for example, if you have cancer, if you are taking medication such as steroids or chemotherapy, or if you have AIDS.
- You have poorly controlled diabetes.
- You are an older person .
- You are pregnant.
Emphysematous pyelonephritis is also a rare complication. In this condition the kidney tissues are rapidly destroyed by the infection and the bacteria can release toxic gases which can build up in the kidneys. You become very unwell if you develop this complication. This complication seems mostly to affect people who have poorly controlled diabetes.
How Long Does It Take Macrobid To Work
Improvement is usually seen within 24 hours of taking Macrobid and symptoms are usually completely resolved after 3 days. If symptoms are not improving or are worsening consult a doctor.
You may feel better before you have completed the course of antibiotics. However, you must finish your course as advised, even if you feel better. If you stop taking your antibiotic early, the bacteria which cause UTIs can become resistant to the medication.
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How Can I Treat A Kidney Infection At Home
Treating kidney infection solely at home or with natural remedies is not a good idea. However, several home remedies can help manage the pain while the infection is treated with antibiotics. These include drinking water, using a heating pad to reduce pain, and taking over-the-counter acetaminophen to manage both pain and fever.
Getting The Most From Your Treatment
- Remember to keep any routine appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored.
- Ciprofloxacin may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Protect your skin by using a sunscreen, particularly if you are exposed to strong sunlight for a prolonged period of time. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with this antibiotic. In particular, do not take painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, while you are taking ciprofloxacin.
- Some people develop thrush after taking a course of antibiotics. If you think you have thrush, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
- This antibiotic may stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working. If you are due to have any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking this medicine.
- Ciprofloxacin may make you feel light-headed and impair your ability to concentrate. Make sure your reactions are normal before you drive and before you use tools or machines.
- If you have diabetes, you may need to check your blood glucose levels more regularly, as ciprofloxacin can affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
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Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
How To Prevent A Kidney Infection
Preventing a kidney infection is really all about preventing urinary tract infections and getting prompt treatment if you ever get one. Sorry, but dont rely on cranberry juice or supplements for thisthe science is far too mixed to consider either of these a definitive UTI-prevention method. Instead, whenever you feel a bladder infection coming on, make it a habit to drink enough water every day to stay hydrated. That will ensure youre peeing often enough to help flush out bacteria that could lead to an infection. The NIDDK recommends peeing as often as you get the urge, but definitely at least every three to four hours, since urine hanging out in your bladder for too long may help bacteria to grow, the organization says.
Kaufman also stresses the importance of urinating like a fire hose after sex. It might even be helpful to skip peeing before sex as long as that doesnt make you uncomfortable, he says. This allows you to build up a forceful stream that may better help remove any bacteria that might have been pushed up there during sex.
Also, we referenced this above, but its important to reiterate: After you pee , you should be sure to wipe from front to back, as wiping back to front can spread harmful bacteria from your rectum to your urethra, where it can cause an infection.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Get Kidney Infections
The Cleveland Clinic estimates that each year between 3 and 7 out of 10,000 people in the United States develop a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are much more common among pregnant women, occurring in about 2 percent of pregnancies.
There are about 100,000 hospital visits for UTIs each year in the United States, most of which are related to kidney infections, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders .
One important area of research for kidney infection is antibiotic resistance when bacteria contain a way to block the effect of the drugs designed to kill them. Currently, guidelines for treating kidney infection recommend adding intravenous antibiotics to oral drugs when a certain percentage of bacteria from a urine sample show signs of resistance.
Treatment for kidney infections has largely stayed the same over the last several years, says Amin S. Herati, MD, an assistant professor of urology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. But, Dr. Herati says, there are some new therapies in the pipeline that are very exciting.
One promising potential treatment on the horizon, says Herati, is bacteriophage therapy, which involves injecting a virus that targets specific bacteria, causing them to burst and die. This approach could be useful for UTIs and kidney infections in which antibiotic resistance is a problem.
What Bacteria Causes Kidney Infections
The most common bacterium that causes urinary tract infections is Escherichia coli, which you might know better as simply E. coli. Responsible for about 90 percent of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections, E. coli can be found in the colons of humans and animals and in their fecal waste. Bacteria can develop in the urinary tract through the urethra and move into the kidneys, which may lead to kidney infections.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of A Kidney Infection
Kidney infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses that spread in your urinary tract, but bacterial infections are much more common.
In fact, about 90 percent of kidney infections are caused by a single type of bacteria, Eschericia coli, or E. coli, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The infection is thought to occur from bacteria that travel from your gastrointestinal tract to your skin surface, through your urethra to your bladder, then through the tubes that connect your bladder and kidneys.
Normally, urine flushes any potentially harmful bacteria out of your ureters before they can cause an infection. But sometimes this doesnt happen due to the following conditions:
- Structural abnormalities in your ureters or kidneys
- Enlarged prostate
- Urine backflow from your bladder to your kidneys
Its also possible for bacteria from your bloodstream to enter your kidneys and cause an infection. This happens most commonly with staphylococcus, or staph, bacteria.
Kidney infections that spread from your bloodstream tend to develop after surgery or as a consequence of another infection elsewhere in the body. For example, if an artificial joint or heart valve becomes infected, the kidneys can become secondarily infected.
Its very uncommon for kidney surgery to lead to a kidney infection.
A number of factors can increase your risk of developing a kidney infection:
This reduced urine flow can make it easier for bacteria in your bladder to migrate into your kidneys.
Antibiotics Used For Complicated Utis
Before getting into how to best treat a complicated UTI, its important to understand which UTIs are considered complicated. Here are some guidelines:
- Urinary tract abnormalities are present
- The patient is a child
- A comorbidity is present that increases risk of infection or treatment resistance, such as poorly controlled diabetes
- Youre a man, since most UTIs in men are considered complicated
Kidney infections are often treated as a complicated UTI as well, notes the Merck Manual.
If a UTI is complicated, a different course of antibiotics may be required. And the initial dose of antibiotics may be started intravenously in the hospital. After that, antibiotics are given orally at home. In addition, follow-up urine cultures are generally recommended within 10 to 14 days after treatment. Not all of the antibiotics approved for uncomplicated UTIs are appropriate for the complicated version. Some that are considered appropriate, include:
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Antibiotics For A Kidney Infection
Antibiotics are the main treatment for a kidney infection, and are usually the only treatment thats needed.
If your doctor strongly suspects that you have a kidney infection based on your symptoms, you may be immediately prescribed an antibiotic that targets the most common bacteria that cause kidney infections.
Once your lab test results are in, your doctor may adjust your prescription based on the exact type of bacteria causing your infection. These antibiotics may be taken by mouth or IV.
Usually, your symptoms will start to get better within a few days of starting on antibiotics. But even if you feel better, its important to take the full course of antibiotics youve been prescribed.
Depending on the specific drug you take, your course of antibiotics will typically last for 5 to 14 days. Taking the full course ensures that all bacteria causing your infection are eliminated.
Antibiotics used to treat kidney infections include:
Can Cefalexin Cause Problems
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with cefalexin. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with the medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Cefalexin side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids. If the diarrhoea continues for longer than 24 hours, becomes severe, or contains blood, please let your doctor know straightaway|
|Indigestion, stomach ache, feeling sick||Stick to simple foods. If you are not already doing so, try taking your doses after meals|
|Thrush||Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice|
Important: if you develop an itchy rash, swollen face or mouth, or have difficulty breathing, these can be signs that you are allergic to the antibiotic. Do not take any more doses, and speak with your doctor or go to your local accident and emergency department straightaway.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the antibiotic, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
Complications Of Kidney Infection
If left untreated, kidney infections can lead to serious complications. In extreme cases, they can lead to sepsis, which is a condition in which the body overreacts to an infection. This condition may lead to organ failure and even death. Fortunately, this complication is rare. Only about one in eighty-three people in the United Kingdom contract this illness each year.
The good news is that most people recover from a kidney infection without serious complications, but for those who are not in good health, it is important to consult a doctor immediately. If you can identify the signs of a kidney infection, you may be able to treat it yourself and reduce your risk of complications.
A doctor will perform a urine culture to confirm whether or not the infection has cleared up. If the infection is persistent, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight it off. In severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized for treatment. Antibiotics will prevent further kidney damage and the infection from spreading to the bloodstream. A hospital stay can last up to two weeks. Patients with underlying medical conditions may take longer to recover.
What Antibiotics Are Used To Treat Kidney Infections
Treating a kidney infection requires antibiotics to prevent bacteria from multiplying. A variety of antibiotics are normally used to treat kidney infections. What is the best medicine for kidney infection treatment? Some of the most commonly prescribed kidney infection medications include:
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Reasons For Kidney Infection
- A kidney infection is caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through a tube that carries urine out of our body . This bacteria is often a type E.
- Type E is Escherichia Coli bacteria are responsible for 90% of kidney infections.
- Type E bacteria travels from the genitals through the urethra into the bladder and moves towards the tube and then ultimately to the kidneys causing infection.
Kidney infection generally occurs if there is a stone in the kidney or any other abnormality.