How to best treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs)?
The easy go to answer for the typical uncomplicated UTI? Quinolone antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin). The Quinolone antibiotics have long carried the stigma of possibly causing tendon rupture. The truth is that in some cases the side effects can be disabling and persistent. Side effects include tendon rupture, joint and muscle problems. In addition to side effects of confusion, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias) and problem with nerves (neuropathy). These risks along with the fact that most often using quinolone antibiotics for UTI is super overkill has changed the way we treat uncomplicated UTIs.
How do I know if my UTI is uncomplicated? Well, if you are a healthy, young woman with <3 UTIs a year –this is you! Pretty much, every other UTI is considered complicated (give or take a few situations). Side note, if you are male, you have a “complicated UTI” this is because the way the male anatomy is set up makes it more difficult for a male to get a UTI.
What options should you talk to with your practitioner?
- Bactrim (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) for 3 days. This is usually a good inexpensive option, especially if you get UTIs less than 4 times/year. Take care if you are on warfarin and this can increase your potassium –so let your prescriber know about all medications you are on.
- Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) for 5 days. This is usually well tolerated. Just need to take care if you have any kidney problems. Is this a safe alternative in pregnancy?
- Keflex (cephalexin) for 7 days –This is in the class of medications called cephalosporins. Take caution if you have an allergy to penicillins
- Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate) for 7 days. This is in the antibiotic class penicillins.
- Monurol (fosfomycin) –this is just for one dose –which sounds awesome but it is still quite pricey $70…and it doesn’t work any better than Bactrim and Macrobid!
**For the pain associated with UTIs, you can take OTC Azo Standard ( phenazopyridine) 1 to 2 tablets three times daily for 2 days.
Do you want a natural way to prevent UTIs? Here is an article about D-Mannose for UTIs . Please read the comments too -lots of people happy with D-Mannose!
Do you have a go-to treatment or prevention for UTIs? How about a natural remedy you swear by?! We would love to hear from you -please leave a comment!