UTIs are very common with some 150 million cases per year recorded globally on average. Over 90% of patients are female and the age groups most at risk are 15 to 35, and any age older than 50. Doctors differentiate between a simple UTI, which is an acute cystitis (bladder infection), and complicated UTI which includes chronic UTI, pregnancy-related UTI, post-surgery UTI, UTI in patients older than 65, and any UTI where the infection has already advanced to the kidneys. Complicated UTIs often require hospitalization for intervenous antibiotics.
For an acute, simple UTI, which has lasted less than 10 days, oral antibiotics are usully all it takes to effectively treat the infection.
You can’t pick an antibiotic on your own, because they are prescription drugs. When your doctor chooses an antibiotic to treat your UTI, they will try to weigh the effectiveness of the drug against its possible side effects. In the U.S. market, these are some of the available FDA-approved antibiotics for treating a UTI:
Now you know some common antibiotics that are effective for treating a UTI. Your doctor will help you choose the best treatment option for your specific case. Aside from considering the intensity level of your UTI and the side effects, another increasingly important consideration is bacterial drug resistance against common antibiotics.
In hospitalized patients, urine cultures will be assessed to determine exactly which bacteria is causing the infection, and what antibiotics it will respond to. The NYC Department of Health even launched a mobile app that allows doctors to view a list of UTI strains and which antibiotics they are resistant to. Even with a simple UTI, determining the specific bacteria will ensure that the most appropriate antibiotic is prescribed.
Pujades-Rodriguez, Mar, et al. “Lower Urinary Tract Infections: Management, Outcomes and Risk Factors for Antibiotic Re-Prescription in Primary Care.” EClinicalMedicine, vol. 14, Sept. 2019, pp. 23–31, www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(19)30120-8/fulltext, 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.07.012. Accessed 27 Jan. 2020.
CDC. “Antibiotic Treatments for Urinary Tract Infections Are Commonly Prescribed To Pregnant Women.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Jan. 2018, www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/meds/treatingfortwo/features/kf-uti-antibiotic-treatments-pregnant-women.html. Accessed 27 Jan. 2020.