Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Antibiotics for kidney infections
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for kidney infections. Which drugs you use and for how long depend on your health condition and the bacteria found in your urine tests.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of a kidney infection begin to clear up within a few days of treatment. But you may need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Take the entire course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely eliminated.
Hospitalization for severe kidney infections
For a severe kidney infection, your doctor may admit you to the hospital. Treatment in the hospital may include antibiotics that you receive through a vein in your arm (intravenously). How long you'll stay in the hospital depends on the severity of your condition.
Treatment for recurrent kidney infections
When kidney infections recur frequently or an infection becomes chronic, your doctor will likely recommend that you seek medical care from a specialist who can identify underlying and potentially treatable causes.
Recurrent kidney infections may result from an underlying medical problem, such as a structural abnormality. Your doctor may refer you to a kidney specialist (nephrologist) or urinary surgeon (urologist) for an evaluation to determine if urologic abnormalities may be causing your infections. A structural abnormality may need to be surgically repaired.
- Pyelonephritis (kidney infection) in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/pyelonephritis/. Accessed June 24, 2011.
- Urinary tract infection in adults. AUA Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=47. Accessed June 24, 2011.
- Schaeffer AJ, et al. Infections of the urinary tract. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/146625683-4/0/1445/0.html. Accessed June 29, 2009.
- Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/index.htm. Accessed June 24, 2011.
- Urinary tract infections. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp050.cfm. Accessed June 24, 2011.