How Antibiotics Work Against Urinary Tract Infections

Antibiotics are used to treat urinary tract infections because it is typically bacteria that cause it. We will tell you about the different treatment options in this article.
How antibiotics work against urinary tract infections

It is common for doctors to prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections as antibiotics can cure it. After a conversation with the doctor and a diagnosis that confirms bacterial growth, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, which the patient should take for a few days. Most of the time, that protocol is correct and working.

Urinary tract infections are actually one of the most common ailments in patients who are not admitted, worldwide. That said, antibiotics have been the most effective way to control this condition and prevent complications throughout history.

Urinary tract infections

This disorder is very common, especially among women. It is estimated that 20% of the female population will suffer from a urinary tract infection that requires antibiotics at least once in its life.

Although less common in men, chronic prostatitis is a complication that comes from not treating it. Many men begin with symptoms in the urinary tract that they are not particularly aware of. As a consequence, the growth of bacteria spreads to the prostate and settles there, causing violent inflammation.

Overall, statistics show that lower urinary tract infections are the most common. An infection of the lower urinary tract occurs in the bladder and urethra, while an infection of the upper urinary tract is in the kidneys and ureters.

In addition  , aging seems to be a risk factor. Menopausal women and older men who are in nursing homes are more likely to become infected.

Man takes care of abdomen on toilet and needs antibiotics for urinary tract infections

How antibiotics work against urinary tract infections

As we mentioned above, bacteria are the microorganisms that are most often related to urinary tract infections. They cause more cases than viruses and fungi.

Among bacteria  , E. coli causes up to 80% of cases of cystitis and urethritis. This bacterium often lives in the digestive system, especially in the last part of the intestines. The same person therefore transfers it to himself.

In women, it is associated with their shorter urethra and how dense their urinary tract and digestive system are. This promotes the passage of E. coli between the anus and the opening of the urethra where it penetrates.

To a lesser extent, other microorganisms can also cause urinary tract infections, among which we can mention the following:

  • Proteus mirabilis.
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae.
  • Enterococci.

All of these bacteria are sensitive to some form of antibiotic. An antibiogram may therefore be necessary before starting treatment. This test measures the hypersensitivity of the pathogen to drugs so that one can prescribe the correct type that is capable of killing the microorganism.

The most common antibiotics for urinary tract infections

Once health professionals identify what is causing the infection and the antibiogram determines the most appropriate type of antibiotic for that particular urinary tract infection, treatment begins. No drug is ideal. Instead, it must be tailored to each individual case and patient.

In this sense, it is important to consider the patient’s age, any diseases, allergies and the type of disorder caused in the kidney system.

What are the most common types of antibiotics used? Below we will explain it in detail.

Penicillin and its derivatives

As it is one of the oldest groups in the fight against bacteria, pencillin has evolved. Amoxicillin and ampicillin belong to this family and are effective against many different microorganisms. Likewise, there are cephalosporins such as cefalexin and ceftriaxone.

Most E. coli and proteus are sensitive to these antibiotics. They are a good solution for pregnant women as studies have not reported effects on the fetus. They are thus safe to use during pregnancy.

Medicines on board


This family, whose representative is gentamicin, can fight gram-negative bacteria. This means that they do not stop bacterial growth, but rather they kill gram-negative microorganisms. For this reason  , doctors prescribe them against enterococci.

However, they can have side effects that limit their use. They should not be prescribed to pregnant women and newborns who are still developing their tissues, due to the likelihood of affecting the processes of cell formation.


With the passage of time and the discovery of new drugs, some new drugs have become more popular and have become the first choice for antibiotics against urinary tract infections. This is the case with quinolones, which replaced amoxicillin and penicillin.

Although it has not always been based on scientific evidence, it may have happened because of how easy these drugs are to use, as they require fewer dosages for fewer days.

A few members of this family are norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, pefloxacin, and gatifloxacin. The first two are the most commonly used for this disorder due to their action against bacteria. An advantage of this group is that  quinolones are highly concentrated in the tissues where they are to attack.

For example, their ability to penetrate the prostate makes them the first choice for treatment in men to prevent this disorder from becoming more chronic. Meanwhile  , norflaxocin is found in high concentrations in urine once ingested.

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is also a type of antibiotic for urinary tract infections

This combination of drugs is considered antibiotics in itself. However, it can not always be used because its ability to act is limited against the bacterium, which is most commonly detected in cases of urinary tract infections. Still, if the antibiogram allows it, it is not a bad solution.

This drug has good effects on the prostate, which is why it is the second choice for men after norfloxacin. Its few side effects also make it safe and suitable for almost all age groups and conditions.

Antibiotics for urinary tract infections by hand

Safe use of antibiotics against urinary tract infections

Regardless of the type of infection, the safety of antibiotic use is essential. When taken and prescribed arbitrarily, bacteria become resistant and their treatment becomes much more difficult.

It is therefore essential to talk to a doctor and have an antibiogram done if possible. The choice of antibiotics is thus based on evidence of its effectiveness in killing bacteria and reducing the incidence of resistant bacteria.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button