Managing a Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in the body’s urinary system. The urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters (tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder), bladder, and urethra. UTIs usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra, a tube that carries urine outside of the body from the bladder. Once the bacteria is in the urethra, it attaches itself and begins to multiply in the bladder. Symptoms of a UTI may include a strong urge to urinate or a burning sensation when urinating.

Medications that target bacteria and lower urinary pain may be used to treat a UTI. Antibiotics such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), cephalexin (Keflex), or nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) work to kill the bacteria that commonly cause UTIs. Side effects may include rash or muscle pain. Phenazopyridine (Pyridium) works to decrease urinary pain and burning. Side effects may include rash or tiredness.