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Antibiotics Used to Treat Kidney Infection

written by: Sidney Johns • edited by: dianahardin • updated: 12/24/2010

The antibiotics for kidney infection treatment fall into several classifications and work in different ways to treat the illness. Explore the pros and cons of some of these medications.

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    What Is a Kidney Infection?

    kidney 

    According to Mayo Clinic, a kidney infection is "A specific type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that generally begins in your urethra or bladder and travels up into your kidneys". The condition is considered serious and immediate treatment is recommended. The infection is characterized by a strong urge to urinate frequently and is accompanied by back pain, fever and burning urination. The cause is often a migration of bacteria from the urethra or other organs of the body.

    The common treatment for the condition is the use of antibiotics. The selection of the specific medication depends on the severity of the infection and the patient's history. Allergies and intolerance are taken into account.

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    Levequin

    Levequin is a member of the fluoroquinolones class of drugs. It is typically taken once daily and works by reducing the bacteria in the body. The drug is related to Cipro and Avelox and is not recommended to patients who have had reactions to any fluoroquinolones.

    The use of Levequin as an antibiotic for kidney infection may result in the swelling of tendons in the body. If pain occurs in the tendon areas, consult with a doctor immediately.

    People with a history of dizziness, fainting, hallucinations, confusions, anxiety, or other conditions related to the central nervous system should not take Levequin. Conditions of the nerves, including burning sensations, numbness and stinging sensations also warrant avoidance..

    Pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to avoid use of the drug. There is no supporting evidence that Levequin may harm an unborn child, but safety suggests avoidance. The drug can be past to infants through a mother's milk.

    Levequin is not recommended for persons with kidney failure, liver disease, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Persons with low blood potassium or irregular heartbeat are not good candidates for use of the drug.

    Side effects from taking Levequin can include damage to the liver, a change in blood sugar levels and heart rhythm changes. Intestinal infection, allergic reaction and effects to the central nervous system are also possible.

    Give your doctor a comprehensive list of all medications, vitamins and minerals as Levequin may cause contradictions Be sure they are aware of any previously diagnosed illness or condition.

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    Bactrim DS

    Bactrim belongs to the Sulfa drug category. It is considered an anti-bacterial agent. As an antibiotic for kidney infection, it works by reducing the amount of bacteria in the urinary system.

    Bactrim may cause flu like symptoms including nausea, vomiting, change in bowels and headaches. Similarly, dizziness, muscle fatigue, mood changes and effects similar to low blood sugar may occur. Let your doctor know immediately if you experience these side effects.

    Severe allergic reactions can occur in the form of rashes accompanied by itching, swelling and irritation. Less common, but serious side effects may be liver damage or lung injury. If shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin or eyes or persistent vomiting occur, consult a doctor immediately. Anyone with previous reactions to Sulfa drugs should not take Bactrim DS

    Bactrim DS is not recommended for those with liver or kidney disease. Some metabolic disorders my disqualify use of the drug. Inform your doctor of all medications, vitamins and minerals taken as Bactrim may cause contradictions in usage.

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    Cephalexin

    Sometimes known by the brand name Keflex, Cephalexin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as cephalosporins. This class of drugs effects the cell walls of bacteria, causing them to ultimately die.

    The use of Cephalexin may lead to symptoms similar to the flu. Headache, nausea, vomiting and fever can occur. More serious side effects may include hives, swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, itching, peeling of the skin, and severe diarrhea. Contact a doctor immediately if these symptoms should occur.

    Cephalexin is not recommended for patients with kidney disease or those who have suffered kidney failure. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid the drug. Those who are allergic to other antibiotics should careful when taking Cephalexin.

    Whichever antibiotics for kidney infection are prescribed for you by a doctor, take only by the directions. Watch carefully for side effects and contact the doctor is the infection does not improve after 72 hours.

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    References and Photo Credits

    Reference 1, MayoClinic.com: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kidney-infection/DS00593

    Levequin: http://www.levaquin.com/

    Bactrim DS: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-5530-Bactrim+DS+Oral.aspx?drugid=5530&drugname=Bactrim+DS+Oral

    Kidney Illustration: Every Stock Photo: London England

    Keflex: http://antibiotics.emedtv.com/keflex/keflex.html