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Bladder Infection Treatment

Bladder infections are treated with antibacterial drugs designated to target the specific bacteria causing the infection. Urine tests identify the type of bacteria, and then the appropriate antibacterial drug is recommended. A doctor prescribes a course of treatment based on the patient's medical history and the urinalysis. Another efficient method in selecting the most effiective drug is the sensitivity test. For most uncomplicated, routine bladder infections, doctors prescribe trimethoprim (Trimpex), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim), amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, Wymox), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin), and ampicillin (Omnipen, Polycillin, Principen, Totacillin). Recently, four more drugs have been approved to cure bladder infections; they come from a class known as quinolones, which often contain ofloxacin (Floxin). These are norfloxacin (Noroxin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and trovafloxin (Trovan).

The course of antibiotics is generally taken for a week or two. While most uncomplicated bladder infections are cured after a day or two of antibiotics, most doctors instruct their patients to finish the course of treatment to make sure the infection is entirely cured. Symptoms may cease after a few days of treatment, however an infection could remain. So, doctors stress to their patients the importance of finishing all the antibiotics. It is risky for those patients with signs of kidney infection, diabetes, structural abnormalities, or men with prostate infections to pursue a single- dose treatment. Patients who also have bladder infections caused by Mycoplasma or Chlamydia require extended treatment periods. These infections are generally treated with tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ), or doxycycline. A urinalysis post treatment can verify successful treatment of bladder infections.

A bladder infection that spreads to the kidneys is serious and may lead to kidney damage or failure if untreated. Treatment for kidney infections can take longer. An aggressive course of antibiotics over several weeks is required, and a patient may be hospitalized if unable to take fluids and drugs on his/her own. A University of Washington study revealed that kidney infections, uncomplicated by nervous disorders or obstructions, in women can be cured quicker by administering the drug trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ), used for curing Mycoplasma and Chlamydia, over the course of two weeks.

Bladder infections can be painful. There are various drugs and doctor suggested preventative methods to decrease symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids helps purge the bladder of the infection causing bacteria. Be careful to avoid alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods while taking antibiotics. Heating pads are also useful in managing the pain. And as smoking is a major cause of bladder cancer, quitting tobacco helps to maintain a healthy bladder.

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Dr. Aguirre
Dr. Aguirre is the Director of Aguirre Specialty Care, The Center for Female Pelvic Medicine. Dr. Aguirre is also a member of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America.
The Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America is founded and directed by Dr. David L. Matlock.

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