What are the treatments for a prostate infection that keeps coming back?

Answer From Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.

What's called a recurring prostate infection is most often treated with medicines called antibiotics. Also known as chronic bacterial prostatitis, this infection is caused by bacteria in the prostate gland.

A prostate infection may come back because antibiotics weren't able to get deep enough into the prostate tissue to kill all the bacteria. Or it could be that the first antibiotic didn't work against the bacterium causing the infection.

Treating a prostate infection that keeps coming back might mean:

  • Trying another antibiotic. One type of antibiotic might work better than another for the infection. Treatment also might involve taking more than one antibiotic.
  • Taking an antibiotic longer. This could mean taking an antibiotic for six weeks or longer.
  • Using other medicines to help relieve symptoms. Medicines called alpha blockers can relieve urinary symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease pain.

It's important to take antibiotics exactly as you were told, even after feeling better. Missing doses or not taking all the antibiotic can keep the antibiotic from killing all the bacteria.

If you have prostate infections that keep coming back and don't get better with treatment, see a doctor who specializes in urinary and reproductive health, called a urologist. You might need to have fluid taken from your prostate to find what bacterium is causing the problem and what antibiotic is likely to work best. It's also possible to have a form of prostatitis that isn't caused by a bacterium.

A CT scan or a procedure used to see inside your urinary bladder and urethra, called cystoscopy, can look for other causes of symptoms. A urologist can look for problems such as a blockage that keeps treatment from working or raises the risk of infection.


Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.

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Aug. 15, 2023 See more Expert Answers