Amoxicillin For UTI: Everything You Should Know

When it comes to UTIs, the standard treatment is antibiotics, which quickly and effectively fight the infection. Because of how unpleasant UTI symptoms are, most people are in search of medication as soon as possible.

A common type of antibiotic is amoxicillin, and as a broad-spectrum drug, amoxicillin is effective in fighting many different types of bacterial infections, UTIs included. Continue reading for everything you should know about amoxicillin for UTIs.

Table of Contents

What Is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when a pathogen, usually bacteria, infects a part of the urinary tract, which consists of the bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters. The most common bacteria to cause a UTI is E. coli, which is commonly found in and around the anus. E. coli most often infects the bladder, which is why a UTI may also be referred to as a bladder infection.

The most common symptoms of a UTI include:

  • burning or pain when urinating
  • frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • foul-smelling urine
  • cloudy or bloody urine 

What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin belongs to the class of penicillin-like antibiotics, and it fights bacteria by stopping them from growing. On a more cellular level, it keeps bacteria from forming their cell walls, which makes it so they cannot reproduce.

Some bacterial infections that amoxicillin is commonly used to treat include:

  • bronchitis
  • pneumonia
  • infections of the nose, ears, urinary tract, throat, and skin

Does Amoxicillin Treat UTIs?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic commonly prescribed for UTIs. However, if someone has a bacterial infection resistant to amoxicillin alone, the doctor may prescribe an amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium combination drug. Adding clavulanate potassium to amoxicillin makes the overall medication more effective against bacterial resistance.

How Long Does It Take for Amoxicillin to Clear Up a UTI?

Most people who take amoxicillin for a UTI notice an improvement in symptoms within just a few days. However, even if the symptoms get better, it is important to continue taking amoxicillin for the complete course prescribed by the doctor to ensure the bacteria is fully treated.

How To Use Amoxicillin For UTI?

There are many different forms of amoxicillin, including tablets, capsules, suspension (liquid), and chewable tablets. It may be taken every 12 or 8 hours, with or without food. Whatever the hours, it is essential to try and take it at the same time each day.

When taking the suspension, shake it well before each use to mix the medication evenly. When given to a child, the suspension can be placed directly in the child’s mouth or added to milk, formula, water, fruit juice, ginger ale, or another cold beverage.

For those taking chewable tablets, they should be chewed completely before being swallowed. However, those taking tablets or capsules should swallow them whole without crushing or chewing them.

The dosage of amoxicillin depends on your age and UTI severity. Adults with mild UTIs are often prescribed 500 mg every 12 hours or 250 mg every 8 hours. However, adults with severe UTIs are often prescribed 875 mg every 12 hours or 500 mg every 8 hours.

As for children, those with mild UTIs are prescribed 20-25 mg per kg of body weight per day, which is then divided into 2-3 doses. For those with a severe UTI, the mg per kg ratio increases to 40-45, and this is once again calculated for the whole day before being divided into 2-3 doses.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Using Amoxicillin for UTI?

Amoxicillin has some common side effects that include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • changes in taste
  • fatigue

However, there is also the potential for some more severe side effects, such as:

  • skin blisters or peeling
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • wheezing
  • swelling of the throat, tongue, face, lips, or eyes
  • severe diarrhea

Many of these side effects can result from an allergic reaction to amoxicillin, typically appearing within an hour of taking the medication.

If you notice any of these serious side effects, seek immediate medical attention.

When to See a Doctor?

When left untreated, a UTI can progress into a kidney infection, which is a more severe infection with symptoms that include:

  • fever
  • back, groin, or side pain
  • chills
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • nausea and vomiting

Since the kidneys connect to the bloodstream, the bacteria may enter the blood and carry the infection throughout the body, causing a condition called sepsis.

Because an untreated UTI can progress to these conditions, you should visit a doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms of a UTI.

Additionally, if you have finished your course of antibiotics but still have symptoms of a UTI, visit your doctor again, as they may need to prescribe another antibiotic.

For those taking amoxicillin, it is also crucial to see a doctor immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction.

Get Help from an Online Doctor!

For those with a UTI looking for a quick and convenient way to receive antibiotics, DrHouse is here to help. Within 15 minutes, you can meet with an online doctor, describe your symptoms, and receive a prescription that helps you feel better faster.

Additionally, your online doctor can discuss whether amoxicillin is a good prescription for your UTI or if another antibiotic may work better due to a history of antibiotic resistance.

Key Takeaways

UTIs are the most common infections of the bladder by bacteria. They are unpleasant infections, but they are easily treatable with antibiotics.

Amoxicillin is one antibiotic commonly prescribed for UTIs, and it fights the infection by preventing bacteria from forming cell walls, which stops them from growing. In cases of antibiotic resistance, amoxicillin can be combined with clavulanate potassium to increase success.

When taking amoxicillin, it is crucial to follow the dosage and instructions for the specific form, as chewable tablets have a different set of guidelines than liquid suspensions. In addition, watching for the signs of an allergic reaction is important, as that can occur when taking this medication.

References

  • Amoxicillin: MedlinePlus Drug Information. (2022). https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a685001.html 
  • Klein, R., & Hultgren, S. (2020). Urinary tract infections: microbial pathogenesis, host–pathogen interactions and new treatment strategies. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 18(4), 211-226. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1038/s41579-020-0324-0 
  • Ahmed, S. S., Shariq, A., Alsalloom, A. A., Babikir, I. H., & Alhomoud, B. N. (2019). Uropathogens and their antimicrobial resistance patterns: Relationship with urinary tract infections. International journal of health sciences, 13(2), 48–55.  PMID: 30983946; PMCID: PMC6436442.
  • Beytur, A., Yakupogullari, Y., Oguz, F., Otlu, B., & Kaysadu, H. (2014). Oral Amoxicillin-Clavulanic Acid Treatment in Urinary Tract Infections Caused by Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase–Producing Organisms. Jundishapur Journal Of Microbiology, 8(1). doi: https://www.doi.org/10.5812/jjm.13792 
  • Veeraraghavan, B., Bakthavatchalam, Y., & Sahni, R. (2020). Orally Administered Amoxicillin/Clavulanate: Current Role in Outpatient Therapy. Infectious Diseases And Therapy, 10(1), 15-25. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s40121-020-00374-7 
  • Iammatteo, M., Alvarez Arango, S., Ferastraoaru, D., Akbar, N., Lee, A., Cohen, H., & Jerschow, E. (2019). Safety and Outcomes of Oral Graded Challenges to Amoxicillin without Prior Skin Testing. The Journal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 7(1), 236-243. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2018.05.008 
  • Faitelson, Y., Boaz, M., & Dalal, I. (2018). Asthma, Family History of Drug Allergy, and Age Predict Amoxicillin Allergy in Children. The Journal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 6(4), 1363-1367. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2017.11.015 

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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