Treatment for Kidney Infection

Kidney infections are treated using antibiotics to destroy the bacteria. The type of antibiotic used varies, depending on the type of bacteria that is causing the infection. Commonly-prescribed antibiotics include Amoxil®, Cipro®, Levaquin®, and Bactrim®.

Patients generally take antibiotics for one to two weeks. Symptoms caused by minor infections may begin to improve after a couple of days, but severe infections often take longer.

To help reduce symptoms while recovering from a kidney infection, patients can apply heat to the affected area and/or take pain relievers. Aspirin is not recommended. Drinking plenty of fluids helps remove bacteria from the urinary tract and also may be helpful.

Other Kidney Infection Treatments

If a kidney infection does not respond to antibiotics, or if the condition recurs, physicians often check for urinary tract abnormalities. Intravenous antibiotics or surgery may be required. Severe kidney infections may require lengthy hospital stays and antibiotics for up to six weeks.

Kidney Infection Follow-up

If the kidney infection does not improve as expected, follow-up care with a physician may be necessary. In some cases, a change in antibiotic and/or additional tests (e.g., to detect complications) are required.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 04 Jun 2007

Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014