There are several treatments for a kidney infection which can be used to address the causes and symptoms of the issue. The best option for curing the infection is a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria responsible. People who get recurring or chronic infections may need to take an extended series of antibiotics, or address an underlying issue that is causing the problem. If the patient is experiencing discomfort or pain due to the infection, heat or painkillers may be the best choice to alleviate it. Some patients may also wish to incorporate home remedies in their treatment, such as drinking plenty of water, taking vitamin C, and drinking cranberry juice.
Antibiotics are considered the most important of the treatments for a kidney infection. Drugs like amoxicillin, levofloxacin, or cephalosporin may be used to destroy the bacteria. A doctor may choose an antibiotic which fights a wide range of bacteria, or he or she may do a urine or blood test to determine the particular bacteria causing the infection and then prescribe one which targets it. Typically the patient must take the medication for a week or more to kill all of the bacteria, though symptoms will often start to clear within a few days. In cases of severe or complicated infections, the patient may need to be hospitalized and given antibiotics intravenously.
Some people have kidney infections that do not clear with normal treatment, or they get them repeatedly. Chronic infections may require treatment with a longer course of antibiotics. Recurring problems may indicate an underlying issue such as a structural abnormality of the urethra, which should be evaluated by a specialist to determine if surgery or other treatment is necessary to correct it.
Another of the treatments for a kidney infection that most patients need is pain control, as they often cause significant discomfort. Applying a heating pad to the abdomen or back often helps relieve pain. Use of drugs such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs can also relieve pain, as well as any fever that may be present.
Alternative treatments for a kidney infection may also help some patients. Drinking enough water and other fluids is very important, as it will help clear the bacteria from the urinary tract. Cranberry juice, in particular, is thought to help clear up a kidney infection. Some patients have also found that taking additional vitamin C is effective.