The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Only use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
You may be prescribed antibiotics for 3 or more days. A 3-day course has been shown to be helpful for both younger and older women with
urinary tract infections
(UTIs), rather than taking the medication for up to 10 days or more. You should take the full course of medication, even if you begin to feel better before all the medication is gone.
In some cases, severe UTIs are treated with IV or intramuscular antibiotics. Researchers, though, have found that oral antibiotics appear to be as effective in treating UTIs as those given as injections.
If you are suspected of having a more serious infection, such as a
kidney infection, you may need hospitalization, IV antibiotics, and fluids.
Beta-lactam antibiotics AmoxicillinCefaclorCefuroximeCefpodoximeCefiximeCefepimePiperacillin tazobactam
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics CiprofloxacinLevofloxacinNorfloxacinOfloxacin
Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole antibiotics BactrimCotrimSeptra
Nitrofurantoin antibiotics FuradantinMacrodantin
Medications for symptom relief PhenazopyridineCombination medications
Common names include: AmoxicillinCefaclorCefuroximeCefpodoximeCefiximeCefepimePiperacillin tazobactam
Possible side effects include: Diarrhea—If diarrhea is severe, call your doctor.Nausea, vomitingRash or allergic reactionBleeding problems—If you notice bruising, increased bleeding, or spontaneous bleeding, call your doctor.May interfere with oral contraceptive pills—Use another form of contraception while you are taking these antibiotics.May interfere with sugar levels in people with diabetes—Check with your doctor before you change your dose of insulin or other diabetes drugs.
Some antibiotics should not be taken with alcohol. Check with your doctor.
Common names include: CiprofloxacinLevofloxacinNorfloxacinOfloxacin
If you are taking antacids or sucralfate, do not take them within 6 hours of taking a fluoroquinolone.
Take with a full glass of water. Take norfloxacin on an empty stomach. The other medications may be taken either on an empty stomach or with meals.
Possible side effects include: May interact with antacids or sucralfate—Do not take these medications within 2-6 hours of each other.Increased sensitivity to sunLightheadedness—Do not drive or participate in potentially hazardous activities until you know how these medications will affect you.Inflamed, torn tendonsLow blood sugar in people with diabetesIrregular heartbeat if you have low potassium in your bloodFor levofloxacin—Check with doctor before taking this drug if you are taking medications for your heartbeat.For enoxacin—Check with your doctor before taking this drug along with caffeinated products.
Note: Due to the risk of serious, disabling side effects, the US Food and Drug Administration advises that this medication should only be used when other treatment options have failed.
Common brand names include: BactrimCotrimSeptra
is usually not prescribed for babies less than three months of age. Older people have an increased risk of skin and bleeding problems with these medications, especially if they are already using diuretic medications. Always take these drugs with a full glass of water.
Possible side effects include: Bleeding problems, including increased bleeding, easy bruising, slow healing—If possible, delay dental procedures.Increased sensitivity to sunItchingSkin rashNausea, vomitingDiarrheaStomach crampsLightheadedness—Do not drive or participate in potentially hazardous activities until you know how these medications will affect you.
Common brand names include: FuradantinMacrodantin
with food or milk in order to decrease the chance of stomach upset.
Possible side effects include: May interfere with sugar levels in people with diabetes—Check with your doctor before you change your dose of insulin or other diabetes drugs.DiarrheaIntestinal gasPulmonary toxicity (rare)
Common brand names include: BasidiumErodiumAZO StandardPyridium
can help relieve the burning, urgency, and frequency of a UTI. You should stop taking it when you are no longer having discomfort. It is usually advised not to take this medication for longer than 2 days. Take with food to decrease the chance of stomach upset. Do not wear soft contact lenses while you are using this drug as it may permanently stain the lenses.
Possible side effects include: Reddish-orange color to your urine and sweatHeadacheStomach irritation
Call your doctor immediately if you are taking this drug and notice: Shortness of breathConfusionDecreased urineBlue color to your skin
Common brand names include: ProsedUrised
Prosed and Urised contain a combination of drugs to treat an infection, reduce bladder spasm, and relieve pain. These medications should always be taken with a full glass of water.
Possible side effects include: Lightheadedness, sleepiness, blurred vision, changes in thinking—Do not drive or do hazardous activities until you know how these medications will affect you.Nausea or vomitingDry mouthChange in color of urine or stool to blue or green
Call your doctor right away if you are taking this drug and have: Difficulty breathingSevere lightheadednessSevere diarrheaSignificant change in thinking clearly and logicallyUnable to pass urineFast heartbeatSudden change in visionRash
Older people may have more side effects when taking Prosed or Urised.
If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines: Take the medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule. Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medication.Plan ahead for refills if you need them.Do not share your prescription medication with anyone.Medications can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor if you are taking more than one medication, including over-the-counter products and supplements.
FDA drug safety communication: FDA advises restricting fluoroquinolone antibiotic use for certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm500143.htm. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Lutters M, Vogt-Ferrier NB. Antibiotic duration for treating uncomplicated, symptomatic lower urinary tract infections in elderly women.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev.
Singh A, Singh P, et al. Reversible interstitial lung disease with prolonged use of nitrofurantoin: Do the benefits outweight the risks? Lung India. 2013 Jul-Sep;30(3):212-214. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775203/. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Urinary tract infections in adults. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated May 2012. Accessed September 12, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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