Treatment Options for Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is any infection of the structures in the body’s urinary system. Two commonly affected structures include the bladder (a small sac that stores urine) and urethra (a small tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body). Infection occurs when bacteria get into these areas. The most common bacteria that infects the urinary tract is E. coli. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, frequent urge to urinate, and lower back pain.

Prescription antibiotics are the primary treatment for UTIs. Examples include nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim). Both antibiotics stop the growth of bacteria and may cause nausea as a side effect. To help with urinary pain symptoms, over-thecounter medications such as phenazopyridine (Azo) can provide relief while the antibiotic is taking effect (typically after a few days). One side effect of Azo is orange or brown-colored urine.