What should I do if antibiotics are ineffective against a UTI?

Doctor's Answers (1)

If UTI symptoms do not resolve with antibiotics, these are the possibilities:

  1. That you have a UTI that is resistant to the antibiotic used. Often, antibiotics are prescribed empirically (meaning without laboratory evidence of the type of bacteria that is causing the infection). Sometimes, this educated guess is wrong, and the antibiotic prescribed is ineffective against the bacteria causing the UTI.
  2. That the symptoms you are experiencing are not due to a UTI. Other conditions such as urinary tract stones or bladder cancer can give symptoms such as blood in the urine or irritative urinary symptoms like urinary frequency and urgency. Obviously, these conditions will not improve with antibiotics.

I would suggest seeing your doctor for a urine culture - this may identify the bacteria causing the UTI. The culture report will also identify what antibiotics the bacteria is sensitive to. Once the bacteria is identified and the appropriate antibiotic is given, the symptoms should resolve.

If the urine culture is negative and symptoms persist, I would suggest seeing a urologist to exclude other causes of your symptoms.

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