Expert Advice for UTI Treatment Dilemmas

Expert Advice for UTI Treatment Dilemmas
Published on, 31 May, 2024. Answered by Dr. Abdelmajeed Saad and Verified by Dr.Galen Team
Patient Question

Hello Doctor,


My mom visited the doctor because she was feeling symptoms of a UTI. The doctor checked her and gave her a prescription for Ciprofloxacin. But after reading about its severe side effects, my mom is worried about taking it. Is Ciprofloxacin the best choice for treating a UTI? Are there other antibiotics that are safer? She hasn't started the antibiotics yet because she's been feeling unwell. In the past two days, she's been experiencing chills and feeling warm. A few days after visiting the doctor, they sent my mom's urine for a culture test, which confirmed she has a UTI. They also gave her a list of other antibiotics to consider.



Thank you for reaching out to Dr. Galen. Please find the below response to your query.


Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is not typically the initial option for treating uncomplicated UTIs because of the potential for serious side effects. Generally, doctors prefer to prescribe Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) or Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim) first, as they tend to have fewer adverse effects. However, there are situations where Cipro may be appropriate, such as when the infection has advanced to the kidneys (pyelonephritis), if your mom has an allergy to sulfa drugs, or if the UTI doesn't respond to the first-line antibiotics.


The standard dosage for treating UTIs with Cipro is typically 250-500 mg every 12 hours for a duration of 3-14 days. While some common side effects of Cipro include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rash, severe side effects like tendon rupture, muscle weakness, joint pain, and peripheral neuropathy are rare but possible.


Considering your mom's recent symptoms of chills and feeling warm, it's crucial that she begins antibiotic treatment promptly. While awaiting the culture results, empirical antibiotic therapy is often initiated based on the typical symptoms of a UTI.


I strongly advise discussing your concerns about Cipro with your mom's doctor. They can evaluate her specific case, including the culture results, to determine whether Cipro is the most suitable option or if an alternative antibiotic like Macrobid or Bactrim would be more appropriate.




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