ZocdocAnswersIs is possible to switch antibiotics mid-course?

Question

Is is possible to switch antibiotics mid-course?

I am currently traveling internationally and do not have a primary care physician I can talk to about this problem. I started suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection about a week ago. I started taking Doxycycline (100 mg) two times daily (every 12 hours). However, after five days on Doxycycline the UTI persists. Thinking of switching to Cephalosporin (500 mg). Is is possible to switch antibiotics mid-course? Is there any particular way I should make the switch? Thanks, in advance, for your help!

Answer

Doctors will often switch antibiotics midway through the course, but they usually do this based on culture data obtained from the urine. In this case since you're traveling this data is not available, so I recommend that you go see a doctor as soon as you can. I will say the doxycycline is not typically used for urinary tract infections and therefore is not entirely surprising that this is not working for you. If you are not getting better, then you probably need to switch to a different antibiotic, but it is hard to tell which one because we don't have a urine culture. Cephalosporin is not an antibiotic. Cephalosporin is a class of many antibiotics and therefore one cannot recommend 500 mg of this medicine. There are a few antibiotics that we typically use for urinary tract infections and have a very high success rate. These include Bactrim, ciprofloxacin, Macrobid, among others. The only antibiotic that I have used from the cephalosporin class routinely to treat urinary tract infections include ceftriaxone and cephpodoxime. If the cephalosporin that you are referring to his Keflex, I would say that that is not typically a great choice for treating a urinary tract infection. I would suggest that you get to a doctor as soon as you can. You need to have a urine sample taken so that the infection can be confirmed, and the bacteria that is causing it determined.

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