Can a pharmacist prescribe antibiotics for UTIs in the UK?

Can a pharmacist prescribe antibiotics for UTIs in the UK?

What’s covered?

Adult women can now treat simple urine infections at their community pharmacy. Community pharmacists will be able to manage and treat women aged 16 to 64 who have simple lower urinary tract infections (UTIs).

If you have urinary tract infections (UTIs), find a local pharmacy on your street instead of going to the GP. The community pharmacist will prescribe appropriate antibiotics that will eliminate your urinary tract infection UTI.

What are urinary tract infections?

When pathogens from your body or genital area enter the urinary tract, a UTI results. In this situation, inflammation and infection result. This causes symptoms including frequent urination and soreness during urination. Most of the time, oral antibiotics are a simple and effective way to treat UTIs.

UTIs can occur in women with different types of genital structures, although they are more prevalent in those with a vulva and vagina. Because every woman's structure is different, some women are more likely than others to develop infections.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections

Most adults with UTIs experience similar symptoms. The most typical sign of a straightforward UTI is dysuria, which is defined as pain or discomfort when urinating. Your lower abdomen or pelvic region could be painful, heavy, or begin cramping.

Urgency and frequency are both effects of UTI. Frequency is the abnormally frequent urge to urinate. The need to go immediately is referred to as urgency. Urine can occasionally become dark, red, or odorous due to UTIs.

Infections can worsen if they exhibit more signs and symptoms than those listed above. You should get help right away.

These severe signs include:

  1. Burning sensation

  2. Fever or high temperature

  3. Bladder infection

  4. Kidney infection

How to prevent UTIs?

  1. Urinate early;

When bacteria enter your bladder via your urethra, it is the primary cause of a UTI. So making sure you discharge pee promptly is one strategy to ensure you decrease your chances of a UTI. In essence, don't delay when your body signals that it's time to urinate.

Additionally, you might need to constantly remind any children in your care or your own children to go toilet because they might not be able to tell when they need to.

  1. Drink plenty of water

Maintaining hydration protects you from UTIs twice. Filling your bladder not only makes you urinate more frequently but also dilutes your urine, which has the added benefit of preventing the growth of bacteria.

  1. Don't wipe from back to front

Women are instructed to wipe front to back from an early age for a reason: E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, likes to linger around near the anus.

Normally, it doesn't damage you back there, but if it gets unintentionally pushed forward (like on a piece of toilet paper), it can move up the urethra and cause a serious infection in your bladder.

  1. Empty your bladder before sex

Having intercourse significantly raises a person's risk of developing a UTI if they have a vagina. Sometimes all that pushing unintentionally introduces bacteria into your urethra.

Additionally, germs almost have a direct route to the urinary system thanks to women's shorter urethras than men's, which, according to the OWH, explains why women experience UTIs 30 times more commonly than men.

To avoid a UTI, however, you do not absolutely need to give up sex. A bowel movement before and after the act will help keep bacteria out of your urinary system and help you avoid a serious UTI.

  1. Use Cranberry juice

Although there is contrary information about the effectiveness of cranberry juice in preventing UTIs, there is a possibility that consuming cranberries may be beneficial.

Proanthocyanidin (PAC), which is concentrated in cranberry supplements compared to acidic juice, may make it more difficult for germs to adhere to your bladder, lowering the chance of a UTI.

  1. Stop birth control

Depending on the birth control strategy you utilize, you can promote the growth of the bacteria that causes UTIs. In particular, spermicides increase your chance of contracting certain illnesses. UTI risk may also be increased by diaphragms.

It could be a good idea to discuss changing your birth control with your doctor if UTIs have started becoming a recurring issue in your life to see if it might help.

  1. Avoid using irritating factors

If you have a supply of feminine hygiene products and douching materials stashed away in your bathroom, you should think about throwing them out since they can upset the delicate balance of healthy bacteria in your cervix and foster the growth of bacteria that trigger UTIs.

The most important rule of vaginal hygiene is that you should only wash your vulva with warm water. Using mild cleaners and minimizing toxic materials when washing and looking for your vagina can reduce the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.


Antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections

Your doctor will collect a urine sample to determine whether you have a UTI. To determine the sort of bacteria you have, the lab will then cultivate the microorganisms in a laboratory for a few days. That is referred to as a culture of bacteria in medical conditions.

It will let your doctor know what kind of microorganisms caused your infection. Before the culture results, they'll probably recommend one of the below antibiotics to treat it.

  1. Amoxicillin antibiotic

  2. Ciprofloxacin

  3. Nitrofurantoin

  4. Levofloxacine

Depending on your infection's complexity, a doctor will prescribe a different drug and dosage.

Your urinary system is healthy if it's uncomplicated UTIs. If your urinary tract is afflicted, you are described as complicated.

Your ureters, the tubes that take urine from your kidneys to your bladder, your urethra, the passageway that carries urine from your bladder outside of your body, or an obstruction like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate might all be the cause of your narrowing ureters.

To learn more about women's health, read our Women's Health Hub here.

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