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Side Effects of Antibiotics In UTI

Published : September 2, 2022 4 mins read Updated On : Jun 05, 2024

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), one of the most common infections worldwide, is an infection of the urinary system, usually caused by the entry & multiplication of bacteria inside the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder, and Urethra. The most common type of UTI is the bladder infection called cystitis, and the infection of the urethra is called Urethritis. Similarly, kidney infection is also a type of UTI. UTIs should be taken care of as early as possible and must be treated well.

Causes of UTI

• Bacterial infection: Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, typically Escherichia coli (E. coli) which is found in the digestive system.

• Sexual activity: Intercourse can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, increasing the risk of infection.

• Holding urine: Delaying urination can allow bacteria to multiply in the bladder.

• Poor hygiene: Wiping from back to front after using the toilet can transfer bacteria from the anal region to the urethra.

• Certain contraceptives: Spermicides and diaphragms can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, increasing susceptibility to UTIs.

• Menopause: Decreased estrogen levels can lead to changes in the urinary tract, making women more prone to UTIs.

Antibiotics And Their Side Effects

Antibiotics are medicines that kill the bacteria or stop their growth & multiplication that cause the infection. The best antibiotics for UTI in adults like Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim) or Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) are used in Urinary Tract Infection treatment (1).

There are different groups or classes of antibiotics that have certain side effects:

• Affects the digestive system

Many antibiotics affect the digestive system and cause stomach upset with symptoms like nausea, pain, cramps, vomiting, gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

To avoid the above, you can take your antibiotics after food, which helps in reducing these side effects. Also, certain anti-acid tablets or syrups can be taken before meals. Sometimes taking some probiotic supplements along with antibiotics helps in easing the side effects. Including anti-inflammatory foods or following an anti-inflammatory diet might also help.

• Causes Fever

Sometimes antibiotics can cause fever which is a common side effect. Fever may occur due to allergic reactions to the medication.
Fever is a common side effect due to antibiotics which goes away after 24-48 hours. To help reduce the body temperature certain over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken (2).

• Causes Vaginal Yeast Infection

Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with bad bacteria. This causes an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome which otherwise takes care of the vagina and prevents yeast infections from occurring. Antibiotics for urine infection in female causes this side effect.

You may apply vaginal anti-fungal cream, ointments, or even consume oral tablets to reduce the side effects. If the infection gets severe, you should consult the doctor and get the treatment course prescribed (3).

• Can Lead to Teeth Decolorisation

Some antibiotics cause discoloration or staining of teeth while consuming them. This is a permanent side effect caused by certain antibiotics. You may ask your doctor for an alternative to avoid this side effect.

• Can Cause Hearth Burn

It is basically a burning sensation in the upper chest or mid-chest. This is caused due to hyperacidity or acid reflux due to antibiotic intake.

You may take anti-acid anti-gas tablets or syrups along with antibiotics to reduce this side effect. Also, including anti-inflammatory foods help in reducing the burning sensation.

Factors When Choosing an Antibiotic

• Type of UTI

The dose and the type of antibiotic depend on whether you have an uncomplicated or complicated UTI. A normal urinary tract means uncomplicated and the urinary tract with a problem or disease means complicated.

• Area of Infection

The treatment also depends upon which part of the urinary tract is infected. Oral antibiotics can be used to treat lower tract UTIs whereas intravenous antibiotics are used for upper Urinary Tract Infections and are put directly into your veins.

• Severity of Infection

The dosage depends on the severity of the infection. If the infection is severe then a high dosage for a long time is prescribed by the doctor. If the infection is mild, it can be cured with a mild dosage and a short course of UTI medicine.

• Allergies

Check if you have allergies to medicines before choosing an antibiotic to avoid serious complications.

Conclusion

In conclusion, proactive management of urinary tract infections (UTIs) offers many advantages, including preventing potentially severe complications. While antibiotics remain a primary treatment option, it is essential to be aware of their potential side effects, heart burn, fever and disruption of the gut microbiome.
Fortunately, there are natural approaches to UTI management that can complement antibiotic therapy or be used preventatively, such as increasing water intake, cranberry consumption, and maintaining good hygiene practices.

FAQs

Do UTI antibiotics have side effects?

Yes, some UTI antibiotics may have side effects. They can cause digestion problems, infections and heartburn.

Can uti antibiotics make you feel ill?

Yes, in certain cases antibiotics can make you feel ill. Consult your doctor if you suffer from illness due to antibiotics for UTIs.

How long can UTI side effects last?

Side effects from antibiotics can last for 24-48 hours. You should always consult you doctor if side effects last more than 48 hours. 

author
Soumil Vartak
Health and Fitness enthusiast

Soumil is really passionate about health and fitness. He provides great insight on various trends about health and fitness. By writing about these topics he try to provide key insight on diet and e... Read More

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