Treatment for Pyelonephritis

Kidney infections are usually treated with the help of broad spectrum antibiotics. The doctor may be able to offer specific antibiotics to the patient in case the exact pathogen has been identified. In most cases, the health care practitioner only treats you as an outpatient as hospitalization and clinical intervention are usually not necessary. If your symptoms get better over a period of 24 hours, you may be advised to keep taking the medications and will only require home treatment. However, hospitalization may be necessary if your symptoms continue to worsen or if you are severely dehydrated due to the symptoms. During hospitalization, you are given medications and saline solutions through an IV to bring your hydration levels to normal.

If the infection keeps coming back, further intervention may be required. If the reinfection is caused by a different pathogen, the antibiotic treatment is changed and a new one is prescribed for the next two weeks. This can minimize risks of kidney failure and recurrence of infection. The appropriate antibiotics can also help release any obstructions, which may be the cause of infection. In case the obstruction is caused due to a structural anomaly, a surgery may be required to correct the structure. The relief of obstruction is paired with antibiotic medications in order to provide complete relief. In case of unresponsive infections, removal and replacement of kidneys is strongly recommended. Before the kidneys shut down and toxicity spreads in the blood, it is best to get a transplant so that damage can be contained. Longer courses of antibiotics - both intravenous and oral may be required in case the infections remain unresponsive.

Pregnant women suffering from pyelonephritis may require immediate hospitalization in order to prevent them from going into premature labor. They may be kept under observation for at least a few hours and administered hydration as well as parenteral antibiotics to control the infection and stop it from spreading. The antimicrobial therapy may cause the woman to experience uterine contractions at least in the first hour of treatment. Some women may even experience the contractions for more than five hours. This can be uncomfortable and therefore women are kept under close observation for some time.

Other treatments for pyelonephritis could include a brief in-patient treatment with antibiotics and outpatient oral therapy as a continued measure to minimize complications and prevent recurrence. Pregnant women, in particular, are given immediate attention because of their delicate condition and the possible risks to both mother and the baby.

Frequently asked questions
  1. George Ward, Robert C Jorden, Harry W Severance, Treatment of pyelonephritis in an observation unit, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Volume 20, Issue 3, March 1991, Pages 258-261, ISSN 0196-0644, 10.1016/S0196-0644(05)80935-7.
  2. Delia Scholes, Thomas R. Hawn, Pacita L. Roberts, Sue S. Li, Ann E. Stapleton, Lue-Ping Zhao, Walter E. Stamm, Thomas M. Hooton, Family History and Risk of Recurrent Cystitis and Pyelonephritis in Women, The Journal of Urology, Volume 184, Issue 2, August 2010, Pages 564-569, ISSN 0022-5347, 10.1016/j.juro.2010.03.139.