Antibiotics for UTI: Can I stop taking medication if I feel better?

UTI in men is rare but you have to follow your doctor's prescription to prevent recurrent UTIs.

I am a 50-year-old man. I had severe pain while urinating. After doing a series of tests, my doctor confirmed that I had UTI and prescribed me antibiotics. I took these medications for two days, and I started feeling better. Do I still need to continue the course of antibiotics even if I feel better? Is UTI common in men? Will I get it again if I do not take medication?

The query is answered by Dr Hemendra Shah, Urologist at Fortis S.L Raheja Hospital, Mahim.

Currently, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is the 4th most common type of infection. UTI in the adult males is rare as compared to females and usually, indicates an infection that occurs within the urinary tract system. As the urethra in a woman is shorter than that in a man, bacteria has to travel a shorter distance to reach the urinary bladder in women than in men and hence, the risk is higher in women than men. Most bacteria that enter your urinary tract are expelled when you urinate, but if the bacteria stays in the urinary tract, you are at a high risk of an infection. The chances of occurrence of UTI in men are more frequent with increasing age, blockage in the urinary tract or decreased immunity. Also, if you have a bladder catheter, the risk is high. Also read about symptoms of UTI in men.

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Antibiotics and UTI - what to know?

Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment for UTI, as bacteria causes it. Your doctor will prescribe the course of the medications (antibiotics) depending upon the severity of the infection. You can take a course for 1 or 2 days. However all medicines have side-effects, so your doctors approval is important before beginning the course. Most of the time symptoms ware off within a few days of treatment. However, if symptoms persist, it is wise to consult your doctor. Also, do complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor as the bacteria might be still present in the body. Also, if you get an infection the next time, you might be recommended a higher dose of antibiotics as the those prescribed earlier might not be effective. Hence, even if your symptoms subside or if you feel better after a day or two, do not stop taking antibiotics but complete the course of antibiotics without fail as it might be good for the long run. In addition to antibiotics, doctors might also prescribe pain medication to numb the bladder. This is because urinary tract infection can cause pain or a burning sensation while urinating and pain killers will provide some relief. Here are 10 things you should keep in mind when you are on antibiotics.

There are chances that you might suffer from UTI again (known as recurring UTI) or if you suffer from urinary tract abnormalities, Co-morbid conditions (like diabetes) or have any previous surgeries or instrumentation involving the urinary tract. In such a case, it is imperative to consult a doctor when signs arise; self-medication is a complete no-no. The doctor will recommend you to take a urine test to analyse the urine sample. The tests will enable the doctor to understand what bacteria are causing the infection and accordingly suggest the best medicine. Affordable treatment is certainly available to treat UTI s. Also read about 7 effective tips to prevent recurring urinary tract infections (UTI).

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