Alka Seltzer for a UTI: Does It Really Help?

Alka-Seltzer is a form of aspirin that can be used for pain relief. The pain relief and effervescent antacid was originally marketed by Dr. Miles Medicine Company. 

Although it has been available on the market since 1931, people still wonder whether it can be used for issues such as UTIs

Table of Contents

Does Alka Seltzer Cure UTIs? 

Some articles online suggest that Alka Seltzer can be used to cure UTIs. These articles often direct individuals to take two tablets once they notice the signs or symptoms of a UTI

This is based on the belief that the alkaline tablets will create an inhospitable environment that prevents the spread of bacteria and eventually eliminates it. 

Using Alka Seltzer for a UTI – Is There Any Medical Evidence

While many people believe that Alka Seltzer will provide a cure for a UTI, there is little to no evidence to support this idea. People tend to suggest that Alka Seltzer can essentially balance the pH levels of the vagina and thus ensure that the infection is stopped in its tracks. 

In reality, studies have found no link between alkaline and a reduction in the spread of bacteria that are associated with UTIs. 

Could Alka Seltzer Help Relieve UTI Symptoms? 

It’s clear then that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that Alka Seltzer can cure a UTI or prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the urinary tract. So, what can this medicine do?

Alka Seltzer is predominantly used for pain relief. As such, it should come as no surprise that it can be used to reduce the symptoms of a UTI. These can include:

However, it’s important to note this doesn’t treat the UTI itself. While Alka Seltzer may mask the condition, the infection could continue to spread, eventually reaching areas such as the kidneys and bladder. 

How Can You Treat a UTI?

While Alka Seltzer may not be the best option to treat a UTI, there are other possibilities that you should consider. This includes home remedies and medicine such as: 

At Home 

There are home remedies for treating a UTI such as bathing with Epsom salt. Or, you may want to consider using cranberry juice. People have believed for decades that cranberry juice can help prevent and treat a UTI. There is some scientific evidence to support this notion. 

You may also want to consider drinking plenty of water. Between six and eight glasses per day is a good amount to flush out your urinary tract and help remove any bacteria that could be causing a UTI.

If you are in discomfort due to a UTI, then you can consider using a heating pad. This can help reduce issues with pain and inflammation. A baking soda bath may also reduce issues with painful sensations when urinating

Medically

Of course, if you are struggling with a UTI that has severe symptoms or symptoms that are getting worse over time, then your best option will be medicine. Various antibiotics are used to treat UTIs including:

  • Unasyn
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Vabomere

Your doctor will recommend the best course of antibiotics based on your symptoms as well as issues such as allergies. 

There are also treatment options available for recurrent UTIs. This includes first-line treatments such as Nitrofurantoin. Alternatively, you may want to explore antibiotics that can be taken after sexual intercourse to prevent a UTI.  

When to See a Doctor?

UTIs are very common, particularly in women. They also become increasingly likely as individuals age. While most cause minor issues of discomfort, some UTIs can lead to severe symptoms. This tends to occur when an infection has spread to various areas of the urinary tract. You should consider seeing a doctor if you have issues with:

  • A Fever
  • Chills
  • Lower pain in your stomach
  • Vomiting 

Symptoms like this suggest that you are suffering from a complex UTI that may not go away by itself and may not be treated with regular antibiotics. If untreated, a UTI like this can lead to severe health complications, so you may want to consider going to urgent care for support

How Can DrHouse Help You?

If you are struggling with a UTI, then it’s important to get the right treatment. This doesn’t necessarily mean using Alka Seltzer. While this may help with some symptoms, it won’t actually cure the infection.

With the DrHouse telehealth app, you can start an on-demand visit with a virtual doctor. This will allow you to get a diagnosis and if needed, a prescription for antibiotics. You can also get support for managing your UTI symptoms.

If you believe that you have a UTI, then download the DrHouse app today and get your UTI diagnosis and prescription in under 30 minutes.

Key Takeaways

While Alka Seltzer may not cure or treat a UTI, it can be used to treat common symptoms such as pain and discomfort. This is one of the main reasons why people believe it is a cure as it masks the symptoms of the infection. As such, it can still be useful, particularly, if you have problems with recurring UTIs. 

Of course, there are also other treatment options available. Most UTIs can be treated with a short course of antibiotics in a matter of days. In cases where this is not the case, it is important to reach out to a trained medical professional. They will be able to provide the right treatment option you need before your condition gets any worse. And help you get rid of your UTI fast

Sources:

  • Jill S. Huppert, Frank Biro, Dongmei Lan, Joel E. Mortensen, Jennifer Reed, Gail B. Slap, Urinary Symptoms in Adolescent Females: STI or UTI?, Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 40, Issue 5, 2007, Pages 418-424, ISSN 1054-139X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.12.010 .
  • Luo Yang, Kunjie Wang, Hong Li, John D. Denstedt, Peter A. Cadieux, The Influence of Urinary pH on Antibiotic Efficacy Against Bacterial Uropathogens, Urology, Volume 84, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 731.e1-731.e7, ISSN 0090-4295, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2014.04.048 
  • Chen CT, Toung TJ, Haupt HM, Hutchins GM, Cameron JL. Evaluation of the efficacy of Alka-Seltzer Effervescent in gastric acid neutralization. Anesthesia and Analgesia. 1984 Mar;63(3):325-329. PMID: 6703349.
  • Arnold JJ, Hehn LE, Klein DA. Common Questions About Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women. Am Fam Physician. 2016 Apr 1;93(7):560-9. PMID: 27035041.
  • Paul G. Shekelle, Sally C. Morton,, Kenneth A. Clark, Mayank Pathak & Barbara G. Vickrey, (1999) Systematic Review of Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infection in Adults with Spinal Cord Dysfunction, The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 22:4, 258-272, DOI: 10.1080/10790268.1999.11719579
  • Wagenlehner, F.M.E., Cek, M., Naber, K.G. et al. Epidemiology, treatment and prevention of healthcare-associated urinary tract infections. World J Urol 30, 59–67 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-011-0757-1 

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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