Dr Fox carries out online consultations for cystitis for women who are prone to water infections. The antibiotic trimethoprim is supplied on prescription and dispensed and posted from our UK pharmacy.
Women who are prone to repeated urine / water infections can obtain trimethoprim to keep at home. When the symptoms of urine / water infection start, an antibiotic to treat it will be at hand.
Trimethoprim on prescription for water infection
Cystitis, urinary tract infection, water infection and urine infection are the names given to bacterial infection of the urine. The terms are used interchangeably. They all describe the same thing, infection of the urine by bacteria. Urine is normally free from bacteria. It is normally sterile.
When the urine becomes infected with bacteria the urine turns cloudy, sometimes smelly. The infection inflames the bladder and bladder outlet producing discomfort in the low abdominal region and a need to pass urine frequently. During water infection there is often stinging and a burning sensation during urination.
Most water infections occur in healthy women. These infections usually go when treated with antibiotic. There are usually no consequences for long-term health.
Cystitis is a fairly common condition amongst women. Some women, for reasons that are poorly understood, get repeated water infections. There are usually no underlying bladder or kidney problem to explain these infections. Test carried out to find out why urinary infections are occurring are usually normal. In many cases, when there has been no recent change in the frequency of these urine infections and where they are clearing up quickly with antibiotics, investigations to find the cause are not performed.
In adult women urine infections are more inconvenient and unpleasant than serious. Urine infection can however travel up into the kidney. This can be serious and even dangerous, but it is rare.
Most women who are prone to water infections usually know straight away when they are getting one. At the early stages it helps to drink plenty to flush the bladder. Citrate sachets can be added to drinks to change the acidity of the urine. These measures are sometimes enough to settled an infection down. A more certain way to settle urine infection is to take a short course of antibiotic.
Antibiotic for water infections
Trimethoprim is the most frequently used antibiotic for water infections. Symptoms usually start to settle within 24 hours of starting trimethoprim and have usual gone completely by the end of a 3-day course (one 200mg tablet twice per day). As with antibiotic taken to treat other infections trimethoprim works best if it is taken early. Early treatment gives early symptom relief. Delays in treatment are usually not dangerous although delay increases the risk of infection travelling up into the kidneys.
Trimethoprim is effective in about 60%–85% of cases (the success rate varies from one part of the UK to another). There are usually very few side effects from taking trimethoprim. For more information see the trimethoprim patient leaflet (PDF).
Alternative antibiotics include ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, co-amoxiclav (Augmentin), and co-trimoxazole amongst other. These antibiotics are often equally effective. Where trimethoprim is not working these other antibiotic might be used instead.
Repeated urine infections can be a problem in the elderly, particularly the frail elderly, who may become confused and unwell when they have an infection. Undiagnosed and untreated cystitis can lead to dehydration and worse.
Water infection in children
Urine infections starting in childhood should be investigated. Water infections in children can by a sign of underlying bladder abnormalities. Infection may produce few symptoms in children although most children are feverish and unwell. Where this is the case a simple operation will often correct the problem. Left untreated urine infections in children and babies can lead to kidney damage. Note: Dr Fox cannot provide treatment for under 18s.
All the medicines supplied by Dr Fox are dispensed and posted by recorded delivery by our UK pharmacy – follow this link to complete an online consultation.