Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What should I do if antibiotics aren?t helping my infection?"
I was having pain in my back and when I went to the bathroom. Doctor said it is probably a urinary tract infection or bladder infection and gave me antibiotics. Its been 4 days and I am still in pain. What should I do?
I am sorry that you are still experiencing pain when you urinate. You should follow up with your physician again. The antibiotics that your physician likely gave you cover the most common bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, but it is possible that you have another bacteria. Your physician can help evaluate this through another urine specimen. Infection of the bladder or lower urinary tract is referred to as acute cystitis. If this progresses, it can develop into pyelonephritis, or infection of the kidney/upper urinary tract. This is much less common in men than in women for various reasons, but can occur in both sexes. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually diagnosed based on symptoms and on a clean catch urine sample. The urine sample is analyzed under a microscope to evaluate for signs of infection and then it is cultured for 24-48 hours. If there is a UTI present, then there will be evidence on the microscopic sample and on the culture. The culture will actually tell your doctor the exact bacteria and the best antibiotics to treat that bacteria. However, since the culture takes over a day to return, most physicians will empirically start a patient on an antibiotic that usually covers the most common bacteria. If you are still having symptoms, it may be that you need a different antibiotic, so you should follow up with your primary care physician to review your symptoms and urine results.
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