The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste materials from the body and forming urine. When bacteria enter the kidneys, usually through the tube known as the urethra that connects the bladder to the outside of the body, an infection may develop. Antibiotics are almost always used to treat these infections. Some available antibiotics for a kidney infection include fluoroquinolones, beta-lactam antibiotics, trimethoprim, and co-trimoxazole. Choosing the best antibiotics depends upon the severity and frequency of the infections as well as the overall health of the patient.
Fluoroquinolones are commonly used to treat a kidney infection. These medications are in a class known as broad-spectrum antibiotics. This means they may be used to treat a wide variety of infections, including kidney infections. This type of antibiotic is used primarily when there has been an ongoing history of kidney problems. A rash resembling measles may occur in some patients taking this type of antibiotic.
Beta-lactam antibiotics are among the most frequently used antibiotics for a kidney infection. This class includes penicillin and amoxicillin, among others. Potential side effects from this group of antibiotics include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. There have also been reports of severe allergic reactions when taking these antibiotics. Any facial swelling or difficulty breathing or swallowing should be considered medical emergencies.
Trimethoprim is another choice when considering treatments for a kidney infection. This type of antibiotic is used almost exclusively for the purpose of treating kidney infections. This antibiotic is not considered to be safe for women who are pregnant, especially during the first trimester. Other medical disorders, such as certain blood disorders, may prevent this type of antibiotic from being an appropriate choice. It is important for the patient to make sure the prescribing healthcare provider has a complete and accurate medical history before beginning treatment with this type of antibiotic.
Co-trimoxazole antibiotics are also among the more popular antibiotics for a kidney infection. This is actually a combination of two different medications, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Some patients have reported a variety of toxic effects when using this type of antibiotic. This has prompted several countries to ban the use of this type of medication. Medical professionals who prescribe co-trimoxazole antibiotics will typically monitor the patient closely during the course of treatment to ensure the health and safety of the patient.
Any medication has potential risks of negative side effects. For this reason, the patient should report any new symptoms to a medical professional right away. In many cases, the antibiotic can be changed to something that may work better for the individual patient.