The most common misconception is that there’s one type of bladder infection -the one caused by the infamous E-Coli bacteria. That’s not exactly correct. It’s true that about 80% of bladder infections are caused by E-Coli bacteria, which means that 20% of patients will have some other bacterial infection.
Here is the official list of the types of bacteria which cause bladder infections, according to the National Institutes of Health:
- Most common: Escherichia coli (E-Coli)
- Less common: Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteusspecies, Klebsiella species, Enterococcus faecalis, other Enterobacteriaceae
Also, your UTI will either be “uncomplicated”, which means that your urinary tract is normal; or “complicated”, which means there is a problem with your urinary tract, such as a blockage from kidney stones or an enlarged prostate (in men). The majority of UTIs are uncomplicated.
Not All Antibiotics Are Equally Effective
The medication and dose that will be recommended depends on the type of bacteria and whether it is complicated or not. So, it’s really important to ask your doctor for clarification on both of these items.
Below is a chart of the most frequently recommended antibiotics for uncomplicated and complicated E-Coli UTIs.
However, research shows that these drugs have varying levels of effectiveness in eradicating the bacteria. The higher the “bacteria sensitivity” the better the antibiotic will work to destroy the bacteria. So nitrofurantoin (Macrobid or Macrodantin brand names) is the most effective antibiotic and trimethoprim (Bactrim brand name) is the least effective.
Source: National Institutes of Health Publication: