Urinary Tract Infection: What to Do When Unable to See a Doctor in Time?

Urinary tract infections are common, and antibiotics are the only tried-and-true treatment to rid your body of nasty bacteria for good. But what do you do if you have UTI symptoms and can’t get to the doctor right away? Fortunately, several over-the-counter treatments are available to help manage the symptoms associated with UTIs. There are also some over-the-counter medications that can help prevent future infections. Here’s a list of over-the-counter UTI medications you should know about so you can manage urinary tract infections at home.

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)

Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is a common pain reliever that can help relieve pain associated with urinary tract infections. Over-the-counter pain relievers won’t help heal the infection, but they can help you get some relief until you see a doctor.

  • Phenazopyridine (Azo, Peridium)

Phrnazophyridine works by soothing the lining of the urinary tract and can be taken three times daily to help ease the pain of a UTI. It doesn’t cure the infection but can make the pain bearable until you can see your doctor. One thing to know about this drug is that it turns your urine a dark orange color that can permanently stain your clothes.

  • Cranberry products

Many different cranberry products are available over the counter, including tablets, juice, and dried fruit. Cranberry products may help protect against UTIs by making urine more acidic. Acidic urine can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Cranberry products can’t get rid of urinary tract infections, but they can play a small role in preventing them from happening in the future

  • D-mannose powder

D-mannose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in many common fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, peaches, blueberries, cranberries, green beans, cabbage and broccoli. D-mannose works by preventing harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, which can help prevent infections.

  • Probiotics

Probiotics work by restoring the good bacteria in your body. If you have a urinary tract infection, taking a probiotic may help prevent future infections.

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

If you have a UTI, increasing your vitamin C intake can help your immune system fight infection. Taking a vitamin C supplement can also increase the acidity of your urine, which can rid the body of harmful infection-causing bacteria.

  • Hydration

One of the best over-the-counter remedies for UTIs is to drink more water. Staying hydrated can help flush your urinary tract and help rid your body of the bacteria that are causing your infection. If you have an infection

     Treatment of UTI without antibiotics

Research supports the use of some home remedies for UTIs. Some have been part of traditional medicine practices for thousands of years. To treat a UTI without antibiotics, people can try these methods.

  • Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help prevent UTIs.Water helps the urinary tract organs efficiently remove waste from the body while retaining important nutrients and electrolytes.

Staying hydrated also dilutes urine and speeds its travel through the system, making it harder for bacteria to reach and infect the cells lining the urinary tract.

There is no set recommendation for how much water to drink per day—people’s needs vary. However, on average, adults should drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day.

  • Urinate when needed.

Frequent urination can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract. It also reduces the amount of time bacteria in the urine are exposed to cells, limiting the risk of them attaching to and infecting these cells.

Urinating as soon as possible after urge strikes can help prevent and treat UTIs.

  • Drink cranberry juice.

Cranberry juice is one of the most established natural remedies for UTIs. People also use it to clear other infections and speed up the healing of wounds.

A 2020 study on the effectiveness of cranberries for UTIs found it to be effective. However, its effectiveness may vary from person to person, and more research is needed on what type of cranberry product and what dosage is most effective.

The authors write that cranberries contain polyphenols that may prevent Escherichia coli bacteria from attaching to cells in the urinary tract.

Cranberries also contain antioxidants with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

There are no set guidelines for how much cranberry juice to drink for UTI. To prevent them, a person can drink about 400 ml of at least 25% cranberry juice every day. However, more research is needed to determine how much cranberry juice to drink for UTIs.

  • Use probiotics.

Beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, can help keep the urinary tract healthy and free of harmful bacteria. In particular, probiotics in the Lactobacillus group may help treat and prevent UTIs, according to some older research from 2017.

They can:

  • Prevents harmful bacteria from attaching to the cells of the urinary tract.
  • Producing hydrogen peroxide in the urine, a strong antibacterial agent
  • Lowering the pH of urine, making conditions less favorable for bacteria

Also, people who take Lactobacillus supplements while taking antibiotics may have less antibiotic resistance.

Probiotics are present in many products including dairy, and yeast.