UTI treatment typically includes antibiotics and pain medications. The type and severity of infection, potential for complications, and your overall health help determine the treatment and duration.
UTI medications are generally the same regardless of your anatomy. However, individuals with penises might require a longer medication course.
Oral antibiotics are the main method to treat UTIs. They are the most common and convenient way to administer antibiotics for UTIs.
First-generation cephalosporins such as
Cephalosporins are generally safe during pregnancy. However, you should avoid cephalosporins while nursing. The typical treatment duration is 7 days.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, consult a healthcare professional about the safety of using nitrofurantoin. Avoid taking it after 38 weeks of pregnancy. Usually, the treatment lasts 7 days.
Amoxicillin directly attacks bacteria, while potassium clavulanate, a β-lactamase inhibitor, blocks the enzymes that break down amoxicillin, helping to prevent resistance.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, consult a healthcare professional about its safety.
Fluoroquinolones are linked with antimicrobial resistance, so only take them if essential.
Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for children or people with heart problems. Avoid fluoroquinolones during pregnancy and while nursing. Typically, the treatment lasts 3 days.
Healthcare professionals typically use IV and IM antibiotics for more severe infections or when you cannot take oral medications.
Over-the-counter medications may help ease UTI symptoms. For example:
- Acetaminophen may help to reduce pain and fever.
- Phenazopyridine (Pyridium, AZO) helps to alleviate pain and burning.
- Methenamine/Sodium salicylate/Benzoic acid (Cystex) may help to ease pain and inflammation.
These medications do not treat the infection.
While UTIs can resolve without treatment, antibiotics are the standard course of care. A healthcare professional can offer guidance on the best medication, correct dosage, and duration of treatment.
Take the entire course of your antibiotics, even if you start feeling better soon after you first start the medication. This helps ensure your infection fully resolves and reduces the chance of recurrence.
Consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms persist beyond a few days of antibiotic use or worsen.