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Discharge Instructions for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by certain bacteria. It can be in the bladder or kidneys. It usually starts in the urethra. This is the tube that carries urine out of the body.

A UTI is treated with medicine and fluids.

Steps to Take

Diet

Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Water will help flush out the infection. It may also keep it from coming back.

Medications

Medicines may be advised, such as:

  • Antibiotics to treat the infection
  • Medicines to ease bladder spasms

When taking medicine:

  • Take your medicine as advised. Do not change the amount or schedule.
  • Be aware of the side effects of your medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicines can be harmful when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one. This includes over the counter products and supplements.

Follow-up

The doctor will need to check on your progress. Some UTIs may come back. Be sure to go to all appointments.

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occur

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Problems with urination, such as:
    • Urine that is cloudy, bloody, or smells bad
    • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lack of hunger
  • Low back pain, or pain in the side of the ribs
  • Weakness and tiredness
  • Rash or itching

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
https://kidney.niddk.nih.gov

Urology Care Foundation
https://www.urologyhealth.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

The College of Family Physicians of Canada
https://www.cfpc.ca

Women's Health Matters—Women's College Hospital
https://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

REFERENCES:

Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-tract-infections-utis/bacterial-urinary-tract-infections. Accessed February 8, 2021.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) (pyelonephritis and cystitis). DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/uncomplicated-urinary-tract-infection-uti-pyelonephritis-and-cystitis Accessed February 8, 2021.

Urinary Catheter: Care. EBSCO Nursing Reference website. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/nrc/search?vid=4&sid=42289db8-bfeb-4c83-82f9-174a211336fc%40sessionmgr101. Accessed February 8, 2021.

Urinary tract infections in adults. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults. Accessed February 2021.

Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Chelsea Skucek, MSN, BS, RNC-NIC  Last Updated: 2/8/2021