Should I Always Take Antibiotics for a Bladder Infection?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 January 2019
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Antibiotics should always be taken for a bladder infection, because if left untreated, a bladder infection can lead to a kidney infection. Typically antibiotics for a bladder infection are made of sulfa-based preparations, and they are extremely effective in relieving symptoms and the infection. It is important to note that antibiotics for a bladder infection work quickly to alleviate symptoms, however, even though symptoms have resolved, treatment needs to continue until medication is finished.

Generally, antibiotics for a bladder infection or urinary tract infection are taken for three consecutive days, and relief is usually noticed after the first day. In addition to taking antibiotics for a bladder infection, patients need to maintain adequate fluid intake to help flush out bacteria. Water is recommended, but cranberry juice is also suggested because it has antibacterial properties. Beverages containing caffeine should be avoided because caffeine can irritate the urinary tract.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection include urinary urgency, frequency, and burning. In addition, pain in the bladder area, blood in the urine, and voiding small amounts of urine often occur. Also, symptoms can include fever, chills, and nausea. If these systemic symptoms worsen, and include pain in the back, the physician should be called as soon as possible. These symptoms can indicate a kidney infection and might need addition treatments and diagnostic tests.


If antibiotics for a bladder infection cause side effects such as nausea or abdominal cramping, they should not be discontinued until the doctor has been notified. Failure to complete the required regime of antibiotics for a bladder infection can promote worsening of symptoms and delay resolution of infection. In addition, when the entire prescription is not completed, the patient risks a secondary infection or worsening of existing infection.

Bladder infection is caused by bacteria in the urinary tract or urethra. This can occur because of improper hygiene after using the restroom, or from sexual relations, where bacteria can be introduced further into the urinary tract. It is recommended that women urinate after having sexual relations to promote the evacuation of bacteria. At the first sign of a urinary tract infection, people should begin drinking water to help flush out toxins.

Other medications that can ease symptoms of a bladder infection include urinary tract pain relievers. These medications are available at pharmacies and are useful in relieving the pain and burning of bladder infections. People should be aware, however, that these medications contain an orange dye that is excreted in the urine. The medication will cause urine to turn bright orange, though this is temporary and completely harmless.



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