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What kind of antibiotics: Bacterial Infections Treat, Side Effects, Resistance, Types & Interactions


Antibiotics: Know When You Need Them

Everyone has germs in their bodies called bacteria and viruses. There are “good bacteria” that help keep us healthy, but viruses usually make us sick.

Antibiotics are powerful medications that can fight infections and save lives by killing bacteria in your body. While antibiotics can help cure your bacterial infections, they won’t help you fight a virus like a cold or the flu – and taking an antibiotic when you don’t need it can have serious consequences.

The good news? If you know the difference between bacteria and viruses – and when it’s appropriate to take antibiotics – you can fight infections properly and feel better the healthy way.

How antibiotics work

  • Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria germs and can only treat sickness caused by bacteria, also known as a bacterial infection. This includes strep throat, urinary tract infections (UTI) and many skin infections.
  • Antibiotics don’t work on sickness caused by virus germs, also known as a viral infection. This includes most flu and common cold symptoms, such as sore throats, sinus infections, chest colds and bronchitis.
  • If you take an antibiotic when you don’t need it – for example, when you have a cold or the flu – it can make you feel worse and make your illness last longer. In fact, when used the wrong way, antibiotics can cause more severe illnesses like diarrhea, nausea and rashes.
  • Taking an antibiotic when you don’t need it can also make your body resistant to antibiotics – meaning the next time you really need antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection, they may not work as well to cure you.

Helpful resources

Antibiotics and the flu

The flu is a common respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It’s highly contagious and normally spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

A common mistake is trying to take antibiotics for the flu, which is a viral infection.

Since antibiotics can only treat sicknesses caused by bacteria, they won’t help you feel better if you have flu symptoms. In fact, in many cases, taking antibiotics for the flu can make you sicker or make your sickness last longer.

Experts agree that the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. You should also make sure to cover your sneeze or cough, and wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you do get sick with a fever and flu-like symptoms, stay home until your symptoms go away – and encourage others to do the same. If your symptoms become severe, make sure to see your doctor or use one of our online or walk-in options for care.

Watch to see what happens to these germs when we take too many antibiotics.


  • Prevent infections by washing your hands often with warm, soapy water.
  • Stay up to date on recommended vaccinations that help prevent the spread of illnesses.
  • When seeing your doctor, ask if your illness is caused by a virus or bacteria. Understand that antibiotics don’t work to treat illness caused by a virus.
  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, you could ask: “What bacteria are you trying to kill?” or, “Is there a home remedy I can try before taking an antibiotic?”
  • Take antibiotics exactly how they are prescribed. Do not miss doses, and complete all of the cycle, even if you start feeling better.
    If you have questions about your symptoms or your antibiotics, speak with your doctor.


  • Ask for antibiotics when your doctor thinks you don’t need them. Remember antibiotics can have negative side effects if you take them when you don’t need them.
  • Share antibiotics or take someone else’s antibiotics. Antibiotics are used for a specific type of infection, so taking the wrong antibiotic may keep you sick longer or allow bad bacteria to grow.
  • Save antibiotics for the next illness or take leftover antibiotics. Discard any leftover antibiotics once the course has ended.

Using antibiotics responsibly: Our commitment

At Atrium Health, we spread antibiotic education to our doctors through our Antimicrobial Support Network and patient care collaborative, which both work with doctors to make sure patients are prescribed the most appropriate antibiotics. The ultimate goal is to improve your care and safety.

How Do Antibiotics Work? – HealthyChildren.org

Antibiotics are powerful medicines to fight certain germs, but they aren’t the answer for every infection your child gets. In fact, there are two major types of germs that cause most infections⁠—viruses and bacteria⁠—antibiotics are useful only against bacteria. Here’s what parents need to know.

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are one-celled organisms that are just a few thousandths of a millimeter in size. They live on our skin, in our
digestive system and in our mouths and throats. In fact, there are one hundred trillion bacteria living and thriving on or inside of us. Most are either harmless or serve a purpose in the body (such as helping to break down the nutrients in our diet). However, some bacteria are dangerous and cause illnesses. Harmful bacteria are responsible for many childhood diseases, like
strep throat or
urinary tract infections.

What are viruses?

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria—1,000 times smaller. Despite their size, viruses can cause diseases when they enter healthy cells in the body. They’re responsible for the common cold, the
flu and most
sore throats and coughs. They also cause
the measles, the
hepatitis, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

As powerful as antibiotics are when used in the right situations, they cannot kill viruses, and they do not work against viral infections. If they’re given to your child when they have a viral infection, they can cause side effects. Taking antibiotics when they’re not needed can also add to the serious problem of
antibiotic resistance and difficult-to-treat “superbugs.”

There are drugs called antivirals that have been developed to fight a few types of viruses. However, there are currently no antiviral medicines to treat the most common viruses that cause sore throats, coughs and runny noses.

Are antibiotic medicines available in different forms and types?

Antibiotics are available in several forms for children. These include tablets, capsules, liquids and chewable pills. Some antibiotics come as ointments and others come as drops (such as for ear infections).

There are also many types of antibiotics. Some, such as penicillin, kill bacteria by destroying the bacterial cell wall. Others, such as tetracycline, interfere with the ability of bacteria cells to reproduce or make proteins or nutrients they need to survive. When your pediatrician prescribes an antibiotic, they will choose the best one for the specific germ that is making your child sick.

What are broad-spectrum antibiotics?

Some antibiotics are called broad-spectrum and can fight many types of germs in the body, while others are more specific. It’s best to use the most narrow-spectrum antibiotic that will only fight the germ that’s causing the infection. Sometimes, your pediatrician can use a test to identify the specific bacteria causing your child’s infection, which helps target those germs without killing other “good” bacteria.

What are some possible side effects of antibiotics?

As powerful and useful as antibiotics can be, they can have side effects. In children, they can cause stomach discomfort, diarrhea and/or nausea. Some children have an allergic reaction to penicillin and other antibiotics, producing symptoms such as severe skin rashes or breathing difficulties. If you think your child could be having an allergy to an antibiotic, call your pediatrician right away.

Are antibiotics ever used to prevent illnesses?

While antimicrobial drugs are mostly used to
treat infections that your infant or child may develop, they are sometimes prescribed to
prevent an illness from developing. For example, children who have frequent
urinary tract infections are sometimes given antibiotics to reduce the likelihood that they’ll recur. These medicines can kill the bacteria before they have a chance to cause an infection.

Other times preventive antibiotics may be prescribed for children could be after a
dog or animal bite or before an
operation. These “prophylactic” antibiotics should always be given for the shortest period possible to reduces the chances of side effects or creating antimicrobial resistance.


If your child has a cold, antibiotics aren’t the answer. It’s sometimes difficult for parents to determine if their child’s illness is caused by viruses or bacteria. For this reason, never try to diagnose and treat your child’s illness yourself. Contact or visit your pediatrician’s office.

More information

  • Why Most Sore Throats, Coughs & Runny Noses Don’t Need Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics for Children: 10 Common Questions Answered

  • Guidelines for Antibiotic Use

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Treatment of acute pyelonephritis. Antibiotics prescribed without analysis.

In every thousand adults, one person annually suffers from acute pyelonephritis, three out of four who have been ill can forget about the disease forever, and the fourth is ill for the rest of his life, steadily striving for kidney failure and kidney transplantation with bilateral infection.

When can’t pyelonephritis be treated at home?

Primary inflammation of the kidneys can develop for absolutely no reason – “I sat on a cold stone”, but in most cases the cause of the infection is based on a violation of the proper flow of urine from the renal pelvis through the ureter to the bladder and beyond.

All patients with acute pyelonephritis are hospitalized to identify a process that interferes with the passage of urine. On an outpatient basis, they treat only in case of uncomplicated inflammation of the kidney with absolute certainty that nothing prevents urine from flowing along the naturally established path.

Treatment in the hospital is absolutely indicated:

  • with a single kidney or the presence of a second unhealthy one,
  • clinical signs of purulent inflammation and septic reaction,
  • with immunodeficiency and no response to antibiotic treatment.

Our expert in this field:

Dmitriev Sergey Viktorovich

Urologist, PhD, doctor of the highest category

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What drugs are prescribed for acute pyelonephritis?

It is impossible to do without antibiotics for any severity of inflammation of the kidney. The correct selection of the drug is based on the identification of the causative agent of the infection in the urine and the determination of its resistance and sensitivity to antibiotics. In most cases, initial therapy is started without test results – empirically. When the laboratory prepares a response, the drug treatment will be adjusted.

Chronic pyelonephritis regularly “supplies” patients for dialysis and kidney transplantation. Today, the possibilities of therapy are so significant that if it is impossible to avoid an acute infection, the chronic form should not develop at all. People get sick with pyelonephritis not so much because of the limited medical care, but because of the inability to bring the treatment to its logical end.

Diagnosis of inflammation of the kidneys by urinalysis

The first way to confirm the clinical suspicion of infection is to do a complete urinalysis. In the urine there will be many leukocytes, mainly neutrophilic and stab, accompanying any inflammation. The presence of protein and some erythrocytes, alkaline pH is not excluded. In general, an inflammatory reaction of the urine, when combined with the characteristic symptoms of the disease, is quite capable of confirming the diagnosis, however, these completely non-specific changes can be with a variety of diseases.

In case of pyelonephritis, there should be bacteria in the urinary sediment – more than 10 thousand per milliliter. An analysis of the microflora – bacteriological will identify the pathogen and select targeted antibiotic therapy.

Acute infections should already be treated with broad-spectrum drugs that suppress the most common infectious agents until results are available. Upon receipt of bacteriological results, therapy will be adjusted.

In a chronic process, treatment should begin only after the specific culprit of the problem has been identified, in order to obtain the best result.

Diagnosis of pyelonephritis by blood test

Diagnosis of inflammation of the kidneys by general blood test tends to zero in specificity. There will be a lot of leukocytes, with a predominant proportion of neutrophilic forms, especially stab, acceleration of the erythrocyte sedimentation reaction (ESR). This is a typical blood condition for any infection, proof that an inflammatory process is going on in the body, but this is not enough to make a diagnosis of pyelonephritis.

Biochemical analysis will show the functionality of the paired organ only if the impairment is significant.

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Instrumental diagnosis of pyelonephritis

Diagnostic ultrasound is more specific, but only in combination with clinical symptoms and bacteria in the urine. Ultrasound reveals swelling of the renal tissue and even purulent foci in it. Additional dopplerography will indicate changes in renal blood flow. If the cups and pelvis are dilated, then we can assume an obstruction to the normal outflow of urine, which became a risk factor for pyelonephritis.

In chronic inflammation of the kidneys, ultrasound will reveal a change in the size of the organ and the replacement of normal scar tissue – nephrosclerosis.

This is a standard and mandatory diagnosis for pyelonephritis, then the examination program is selected for each patient individually.

What will the surveys reveal?

Then begins the search for the root cause of the disease, which interferes with the normal outflow of urine pathology.

An old and seriously modernized method – survey urography will find stones. The use of a contrast agent secreted by the kidneys on x-rays – excretory urography will reveal specific signs of inflammation of the kidney and the level of blockage of urine outflow.

Imaging – CT and MRI also aim to find the underlying cause of the inflammation: urinary tract abnormalities, tumor, or urolithiasis. Such a diagnosis is necessary in the absence of a positive response to 3-day treatment and ongoing fever.
The excretion of radioactive isotopes by the kidneys makes it possible to assess their function and the symmetry of the damage.

In some cases, a kidney biopsy will be required to make a differential diagnosis in doubtful cases when all previous studies have not given a definitive answer.

What kind of consultations are needed in case of inflammation of the kidneys?

In the international clinic Medica24 patients with pyelonephritis are observed by a urologist – a universal specialist, in one person a diagnostician, clinician and surgeon. In most public medical institutions, the shortage of personnel assigns him the role of a consultant.

Competent opinion of a nephrologist may be required, especially in concomitant immunodeficiency or signs of kidney failure. A patient with pyelonephritis on the background of diabetes mellitus should be observed in parallel by an endocrinologist.

In the international clinic Medica24, all patients receive the assistance of all the necessary specialists according to the standard, adjusted according to an individual program. Contact the Urology Center for help by phone: +7 (495) 120-19-58

At the very beginning, acute pyelonephritis, which develops in the absence of urinary outflow disorders – the primary one is often mistaken for another inflammatory disease: SARS, exacerbation of chronic cholecystitis and even appendicitis or infection, because there is no main symptom – no signs of inflammation appeared in the urine.

What are the symptoms of acute pyelonephritis?

Inflammation of the kidney is characterized by a combination of three symptoms, namely a combination, and not the presence of one or two of the three. Their severity depends on many reasons: the prevalence of inflammation inside the kidney, the state of immune defense, the individual sensitivity of the patient.

The classic triad of symptoms:

  1. Pain in the lower back, tapping along it responds with an increase in pain intensity.
  2. High fever – fever, often very pronounced.
  3. Pathological changes in urine: a large number of leukocytes and bacterial flora.

If the cause of an ascending urinary tract infection is cystitis, the most common cause of the disease in women, then frequent and painful urination is possible – dysuria. Inflammatory products can cause intoxication in the form of headaches, weakness, nausea, thirst, but these are non-specific symptoms, that is, they can be with many diseases.

Despite the apparent simplicity, the diagnostic stage is one of the most difficult, modern equipment and their own professional experience make it easier for specialists of the international clinic Medica24 to make the correct diagnosis.

Enduring pain is life threatening!

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How does acute inflammation of the kidney develop?

Infection, once inside the kidney tissue, first forms inflammation of the tubules and interstitial – interstitial tissue, gradually and unevenly distributed to the vessels and renal glomeruli. In each case, the inflammation passes individually, but the defeat of the pelvis by the patient is more easily tolerated than directly by the tissue of the organ. After an infection, damage does not recover, scars form at this site and the kidney shrinks.

What are the stages of acute pyelonephritis?

Infection goes through two stages of the process: serous and purulent inflammation. Serous undergoes reverse development, but in some cases it passes into a purulent stage, it develops in every fourth patient in several forms: apostematous pyelonephritis, carbuncle and abscess.

During this period, the kidney is inflamed and edematous, the renal capsule is stretched and this gives a feeling of pain. The fiber around the organ also swells, aggravating the pain syndrome. Fever gives rise to the release of bacterial toxins into the blood, secreted by immune cells of biologically active substances, products of cellular decay. With a disease that has arisen on the basis of urinary outflow disorders, all clinical manifestations are more pronounced.

Symptoms of purulent acute pyelonephritis

With apostematous nephritis, microscopic pustules are formed inside the organ, swelling of the tissues is more pronounced than in the serous stage, and, accordingly, the clinical manifestations are more intense. The temperature reaches 40°, with several chills per day with a maximum duration of up to an hour and profuse sweating after a decrease in temperature. Intoxication is strongly expressed.

Symptoms of carbuncle and kidney abscess

In every third apostematous pyelonephritis is complicated by the formation of a large abscess – carbuncle. There may be several carbuncles, as a rule, with a diameter of no more than 2 cm. The abscess can open into the surrounding tissue and pus forms around the kidney.

In a kidney abscess, tissue necrosis first appears, for example, as a result of blockage by a blood clot from bacteria and blood clots of blood vessels, then pus forms, but this variant of the disease is very rare.

In case of purulent melting, the temperature rises over 40°, the urine is almost purulent, the condition is extremely serious with a change in consciousness. The strongest pains in the lumbar region during the breakthrough of the abscess change character, the condition improves somewhat for a short time, then progressively deteriorates.

From the very beginning of the development of the disease, one should trust the health of doctors, and then the likelihood of developing purulent fusion is negligible. Our doctors know how to quickly diagnose and treat correctly, contact the Urology Center for help by phone: +7 (495) 120-19-58

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Both kidneys can become inflamed at once or one by one, so pyelonephritis can be bilateral or unilateral, then it is called according to the side of the lesion, for example, right-sided.

Single infection – acute pyelonephritis; if the disease flows in waves with exacerbations and periods without illness, then this is a chronic process. Chronic pyelonephritis affects mainly women, which is due to a higher incidence of cystitis and a violation of the passage of urine through the ureters during pregnancy.

The international clinic Medica24 has not only excellent diagnostic equipment, but also specialists who are able to make a diagnosis in case of non-obvious signs of the disease and unclear interpretations of the examination results. Contact the Urology and Andrology Center by phone: +7 (495) 120-19-58.

What causes pyelonephritis?

A disease that has arisen in the absence of an anatomical obstacle to the evacuation of urine is considered primary acute pyelonephritis, which arose almost without a cause against the background of hypothermia.

Accordingly, the cause of secondary inflammation of the kidneys becomes a disease that creates an obstacle to the outflow of urine. Topping the list of causes are anatomical anomalies of the ureters, their narrowing after trauma or stone blockade. Contributes to the development of an ascending infection of cystitis, reflux of urine from the bladder – reflux, as well as stagnation of urine in the bladder with diseases of the prostate gland, tumors or neurological disorders of urination.

Risk factors leading to inflammation of the kidneys

If there is an obstruction to the normal flow of urine, there are factors that increase the likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection. The causes are practically the same as those that help initiation of acute cystitis:

  • Sexually transmitted infections and costs of sexual behavior;
  • Age-related decrease in hormone production, dyshormonal disorders and the use of hormonal drugs, most often contraceptives;
  • Immune capabilities linked to blood type, which are referred to as “secretory type”;
  • Complication of diabetes mellitus – damage to small vessels or microangiopathy.

What urological causes can lead to pyelonephritis?

There is only one man out of five women with inflammation of the kidneys, he most often has typical urological problems as the cause of the disease:

  • Neurogenic bladder that has not yet been successfully treated;
  • Blockage of urine outflow through the ureter by a stone or narrowing after an injury.
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    What promises a severe course of the disease?

    The effectiveness of pyelonephritis therapy is not always due only to the sensitivity of microorganisms to drugs and the correctness of therapeutic measures, there is a group of causative factors that worsen therapeutic prospects:

    • Pregnancy, firstly, the growing uterus interferes with the passage of urine; secondly, there are significant restrictions on the use of medicines; thirdly, the notorious hormonal changes.
    • In men, pyelonephritis is worse because it occurs in old age against the background of fatal urological problems and concomitant diseases.
    • Immune disorders, especially HIV, help to develop infections with an atypical pathogen that is fundamentally not pathogenic.
    • Diabetes mellitus out of control and autoimmune diseases with connective tissue damage. In principle, any chronic disease worsens the prognosis of a kidney infection.

    Possible prevention of inflammation of the kidneys

    Since no one is guaranteed against an acute infection, one should be guided by the principle of “God saves you”:

    1. It is important not to get cold, to treat acute infections of the throat and nose and various bacterial processes.
    2. Treat purulent processes, since blood and lymph can carry pathogens into the renal parenchyma.
    3. Diabetes should not be left to chance, it can cause fatal troubles.
    4. It would be good to avoid pathological obstructions to the normal flow of urine. If this still happened, then it is necessary to carry out treatment as soon as possible and restore the passage.

    Specialists of the Urology Center of the international clinic Medica24 can help with this, knowing all the modern treatment methods recommended by leading foreign centers.

    Which antibiotics can be prescribed without analysis?

    In most cases, E. coli becomes the causative agent of infection in an ordinary person who does not live in a hostel or boarding school. Therefore, at the first stage, 3rd generation cephalosporins, to which the microorganism does not have resistance, can be prescribed. One drug may be sufficient, and if the patient is intolerant to cephalosporins, reserve drugs are recommended.

    In patients debilitated by concomitant diabetes mellitus, acute pyelonephritis is often caused by staphylococcus aureus sensitive to ciprofloxacin and other agents. In all cases, toxic drugs with a selective effect on the kidneys are not used – nephrotoxic drugs, mainly excreted by the liver. In addition, intravenous solutions are prescribed, which improve metabolic processes in the kidneys and replenish fluid deficiency.

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    Surgery for acute pyelonephritis

    In case of primary pyelonephritis that developed during normal passage of urine, surgery is performed with a purulent process: carbuncle, abscess and apostematous nephritis.

    In most cases, the operation is resorted to in violation of the excretion of urine from the kidney, which is possible when the ureter is blocked by a stone or narrowed along its length. With narrowing, a minimally invasive intervention is successfully used – catheterization with the installation of a stent under X-ray control. They also try to remove the stone endoscopically, in some cases a nephrostomy is installed, through which urine is removed outside bypassing the ureter.

    Is the prognosis always good?

    In most patients, acute pyelonephritis ends with complete recovery. In some, it becomes chronic with an alternation of the process of activity and “sleep” of the infection. Due to concomitant severe chronic diseases and the immune deficiency that has arisen against their background, the development of infectious-toxic shock is possible, every fifth patient dies from it.

    Purulent inflammation of the kidney leads to cicatricial changes in tissues and, of course, a decrease in functionality, with a healthy second kidney, all this is more than compensated and the person lives a normal life. Even without one kidney, you can feel quite normal and live long and high quality.

    In the international clinic Medica24, each patient is treated with an individual approach based on the clinical recommendations of the world’s leading medical specialists, so our patients are focused on optimal results and speedy recovery. Contact a specialist of the Urology Center for help by phone: +7 (495) 120-19-58

    Antibiotics for the treatment of cystitis | Canephron N

    Date of last update: 09/19/2022


    Which antibiotics are used for cystitis?

    Complex treatment of cystitis

    Cystitis is usually caused by pathogenic bacteria – such cystitis is called bacterial. Accordingly, to eliminate the cause of the disease, drugs are needed, the action of which is directed against bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics are usually used to treat cystitis.

    What antibiotics are used for cystitis?

    Up to 80% of bacterial cystitis in our country is caused by bacterium Escherichia coli , so antibiotics acting on it become the drugs of first choice. However, cystitis should be treated with antibiotics very carefully, only as prescribed by a doctor. The fact is that the unreasonable use of antibacterial drugs or the wrong choice of a drug can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. This is a big problem today all over the world, which makes it difficult to treat many infectious diseases.

    But even justified prescription of antibiotics can be accompanied by undesirable side reactions. For example, the use of antibiotics for cystitis in women leads to a violation of the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract and vagina. Therefore, when treating cystitis, doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics in short courses, and if possible, avoid prescribing them.

    To reduce the frequency and duration of antibiotics in the treatment of cystitis is usually carried out in a complex manner.

    Comprehensive treatment of cystitis

    Antibiotics that treat cystitis have only one effect – they eliminate pathogenic bacteria. But they do not affect the inflammation caused by bacteria, and the symptoms of the disease. At the same time, the most important thing for a person suffering from cystitis is to get rid of the symptoms that significantly reduce the quality of life as soon as possible.

    For this purpose, complex therapy includes drugs that have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic effects. At the same time, preference is given to drugs that combine several effects at once – this helps to limit the number of drugs taken. Among these drugs, it is worth paying attention to Canephron® N.

    Canephron® N has an antimicrobial effect, reduces the inflammatory response, helps to eliminate frequent urges and pains during urination, and also:

    • increases the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy
    • reduces the need for antibiotics
    • reduces the risk of recurrence

    Canephron® N is produced in Germany in a high-tech production facility according to the patented phytoneering concept.