Treatment

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 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 might need to continue antibiotics for a week or longer. Take the entire course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor even after you feel better.

Your doctor might recommend a repeat urine culture to ensure the infection has cleared. If the infection is still present, you'll need to take another course of antibiotics.

Hospitalization for severe kidney infections

If your kidney infection is severe, your doctor might admit you to the hospital. Treatment might include antibiotics and fluids 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

An underlying medical problem such as a misshapen urinary tract can cause you to get repeated kidney infections. In that case, you might be referred to a kidney specialist (nephrologist) or urinary surgeon (urologist) for an evaluation. You might need surgery to repair a structural abnormality.

Aug. 07, 2017
References
  1. Pyelonephritis: Kidney infection. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  2. Kidney infection. American Kidney Fund. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-problems/kidney-infection.html. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  3. Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  4. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ050. Urinary tract infections. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For Patients/faq050.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140523T1534363926. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  5. Hooten TM. Patient education: Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) (Beyond the Basics). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  6. Hooten TM, et al. Urinary tract infections and asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.