Empirical antibiotics are usually prescribed for UTIs. The patient may be prescribed alternative antibiotics after the urine culture results are available.
The duration of treatment of the UTI depends on the antibiotic in use. Some common first-choice agents for the treatment of uncomplicated cystitis in women include nitrofurantoin, Bactrim or beta-lactams such as Cephalexin.
You may also be given medication to make the urine more alkaline and asked to drink more water.
Most patients can be treated on an outpatient basis. However, hospital admission for management of complicated UTIs may be indicated in some patients. Complicating factors include the presence of structural abnormalities (e.g., stones, indwelling catheters), metabolic disease (e.g., diabetes, pre-existing kidney disease) or patients who are immunosuppressed and therefore more prone to serious infections (e.g., HIV, patients on chemotherapy).
Recurrent UTI is defined as having UTI three or more times in a year. This can be due to the same or different bacteria. In these cases, further investigations may need to be done (e.g., renal ultrasound, intravenous pyelogram, cystoscopy, urine for tuberculosis and cytology) to look for any underlying causes and complications of recurrent UTIs.
Patients with recurrent UTIs may be given prophylactic antibiotics for a period of six months. They will also be advised on the various preventive measures and the importance of keeping good personal hygiene.
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