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Date of last update: 8/13/2017.

Forum Name: Urology Topics

Question: UTI vs Kidney Infection

 bethstuck - Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:57 pm

I have all the classic symptoms of a UTI and had a test done at a clinic 2 days ago. I was put on Bactrim 800 mg 2x per day. No relief. Today the Rx got changed to Cipro. I now have pain in my lower back around my waist along with frequent urge to urinate and burning sensation with little output. Do I need to go back to the doctor for a kidney infection test or be patient and see if the Cipro works?
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:47 pm

It would have been helpful if you had provided the results of your tests. The basic screening test for urinary tract infection (UTI) is a urinalysis, microscopy and culture of a fresh, middle stream specimen of urine. If you were placed on “Bactrim” and later changed to “Cipro”, it is likely that the culture, if done, showed bacterial sensitivity to the latter drug. The culture result would not have been available at your first visit when you were prescribed “Bactrim”.

If symptoms are persisting, as your post suggests, you will require an ultrasound scan of the renal tract as well as renal function tests, especially because of poor urinary output and loin pain. Renal ultrasound is usually performed to detect kidney diseases such as cysts, stones, renal scarring, tumours or obstruction. Are you drinking enough fluids? A fluid intake of at least 2 litres per day is helpful in UTI. What is unhelpful is the daily consumption of 1-2 packets of cigarettes, which you disclosed in your profile.

UTI may present as cystitis, urethritis and acute pyelonephritis. Acute pyelonephritis presents with burning sensation, frequency, loin pain and fever. You have three of these symptoms. If further tests as advised show no abnormalities, you should be examined for urethritis and vaginitis.

In response to your question, yes, it is mandatory to go back to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 5 days of the medication and you should go earlier if urine output remains poor and loin pain increases.

I hope this information has been helpful. Thank you for contacting this website.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine

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