Dealing with a urinary tract infection is difficult to say the least. It causes painful and burning urination, abdominal pain, urinary urgency and frequency, blood in the urine and in some cases fever, vomiting and even incontinence. Suffering through these symptoms can be unbearable, especially if it takes you a day or two to get to the doctor for antibiotics. In the meantime, over-the-counter treatments can ease your pain.
One way to deal with the discomfort caused by a urinary tract infection is standard pain relievers. While these drugs will irritate your bladder, they can relieve your pain temporarily until you can get antibiotics. You may wish to place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen to further ease your pain as well.
Another over-the-counter option is called Cystex. This drug contains sodium salicylate and an antibacterial called methenamine. This works to relieve pain and kill some bacteria. For some people, this treatment works in curing the UTI, though it is a good idea to have a urinalysis done anyway to ensure the infection has disappeared.
Another over-the-counter treatment for UTIs is called phenazopyridine. This drug acts as a pain reliever directly for the bladder. It's often fast acting, but it may turn your urine a bright orange colour, which is completely normal. Popular brands include AZO and Uristat.
You can battle UTIs by drinking cranberry juice as well. While it won't necessarily get rid of a current infection, it helps to disinfect the bladder and ease inflammation. Once the infection is gone, you can make cranberry juice a part of your daily diet to help stave off future infections.
When to Seek Medical Help
While over-the-counter treatments for UTIs are helpful in getting rid of pain, they don't always cure the infection itself. In fact, most people will require antibiotics to get better. If you experience abdominal pain, pain in your sides or lower back, notice blood in your urine, feel nauseous or vomit or develop a fever, you should seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms are indicative of a kidney infection, which can be quite serious.