Side Effects of Antibiotics to Treat UTI: How You Can Stop It’s Overuse

Antibiotics Overprescribed to Treat UTIs

While a urinary tract infection (UTI) can definitely be uncomfortable, the duration of symptoms is generally short and complications are rare. However, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly 40% of patients were treated for UTI with antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics to treat UTI and other infections puts patients at risk and helps to fuel the creation of deadly “superbugs,” the CDC has warned.

Why Antibiotics Must Be a Last Resort

When antibiotics are misused or overused for infections that may otherwise resolve naturally, the drugs become less effective as superbugs develop resistance to them. Here’s how this can happen.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic when you have a viral infection such as a cold, the antibiotic won’t have any effect on the virus. You could also be overprescribed antibiotics to treat an infection. In these cases, the drug will kill bacteria in your body, including strains of good bacteria that contribute to your digestive and immune system function. Bad bacteria that are tough enough to survive the antibiotic emerge with increased resistance to the drug. These drug-resistant bacterial strains may even spread to other people.

Over time, as more and more people take antibiotics, drug-resistant superbugs can continue to thrive and spread. Drugs may become less effective or not work at all against certain disease-causing bacteria.

How You Can Help

You can slow the spread of drug-resistant superbugs by taking antibiotics only as prescribed and when necessary. Common infections – including UTI – often get better without antibiotics. Do not insist on an antibiotic if your RediClinic clinician advises otherwise.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a UTI, visit your nearest RediClinic walk-in clinic. Our board-certified clinicians diagnose UTI using a urinalysis, which detects bacteria and blood in the urine. With proper diagnostics, RediClinic’s healthcare experts can help you choose the best course of action for you, and for our communities.

Find a RediClinic in your San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington, DC, neighborhood.

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