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Is 3 days of antibiotics enough for a UTI?

17th February 2020

Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) will know how unpleasant they can be, but thankfully they’re fairly quick and easy to treat. First-line treatment for cystitis or a UTI is a short course of antibiotics that you’ll typically take for 3 days.

Is 3 days of antibiotics enough for a UTI?

For uncomplicated cases of UTIs, 3 days of antibiotics should be sufficient to clear the infection. You may even notice that your symptoms have vastly improved (or even cleared completely) after only one or two days of taking antibiotics. However, it’s important to always finish a course of antibiotics (as directed by your prescriber) to ensure that the infection has completely cleared.

The antibiotics usually prescribed for a urinary tract infection are Trimethoprim or Nitrofurantoin, both of which can be purchased from UK Meds without an existing prescription. 

Some people will require more than the standard 3 days of antibiotics though. These dosage instructions are most common, but they are based on females. Adult women are 30 times more likely to develop a UTI than men, however this does not mean that men don’t get them.

Treating UTIs in men typically requires a longer course of antibiotics because the infection is usually considered complicated. Men will normally be prescribed a 5 day course of antibiotics but some people may need to take the medication for 7 to 10 days.

For those who are experiencing recurrent UTIs, you may be prescribed a low-dose course of antibiotics lasting 6 months or longer. This would not be without proper exploration for the cause of the recurrent infections though.

Why are women more likely to get UTIs than men?

Cystitis is extremely common in women and is actually one of the most common infections for them, but it’s quite rare in men. This is because women have a much shorter urinary tract, which means that bacteria can travel up it much more easily. A woman’s urinary tract is also much closer to the anus, which is another opportunity for harmful bacteria to be spread.

Even though UTIs in men are far less common, they tend to be more complicated when they do occur. This is because they are more likely to spread to the kidneys and upper urinary tract, which can cause further complications and sometimes even surgery.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Symptoms for a urinary tract infection are largely the same for men and women. The most common symptoms are pain during urination, a sudden need to urinate, a frequent urge to urinate and urine that’s cloudy, strong-smelling or contains blood.

If you experience a fever, chills, back pain or vomiting along with the more common symptoms, then this could be an indication of a complicated urinary tract infection or possibly another medical condition. If any of these additional symptoms do occur then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.