Urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect the bladder, kidney, ureters, or urethra. UTIs are common and occur in one in five women at one point in their lives (Gupta et al., 2017). Although females are commonly affected by UTIs, it can also happen to children, men, and the elderly. Urine, a byproduct of the kidneys, does not typically contain germs. Nonetheless, bacteria from the outside can enter the urinary system and multiply, causing inflammation or infection problems (Gupta et al., 2017). This results in cystitis and pyelonephritis, which healthcare providers should keenly differentiate.
Cystitis and pyelonephritis are caused by urinary tract infections caused by a bacterium known as Escherichia coli (‘E coli’) and exhibit similar symptoms. Gupta et al. (2017) explain that these signs include smelly, cloudy, or bloody urine, fever, burning urination, and pain in the back, groin, side, or abdomen. Both conditions’ treatment plan is similar because antibiotics are the preferred first-line therapy medication, although pyelonephritis is more severe than a bladder infection. However, these illnesses are different because they affect distinct parts of the urinary system.
Cystitis refers to the inflammation or swelling of the bladder, which makes it irritated or red. Although all people are at risk of this disease, women have a high possibility because their urethra is short (Gupta et al., 2017). On the contrary, pyelonephritis is a severe and sudden infection of one kidney (Gupta et al., 2017). Persistent or repeated attacks led to chronic pyelonephritis, although it is rare. However, it often occurs in individuals with urinary obstructions and children (Gupta et al., 2017). Healthcare professionals should differentiate between the two conditions to ensure that they provide the best treatment and advice.
Antibiotics are the best treatment options for cystitis caused by bacterial infection. However, individuals’ overall health, the cause, and the severity of the infection determine the type of medication administered (Cunha et al., 2020). Healthcare care providers could try nitrofurantoin as a first-time therapy if cystitis is suspected. This antibiotic comes in tablets, capsules, and liquid forms. For a start, the healthcare profession can advise the patient to take nitrofurantoin 100mg two times daily for five days or 50g fourfold a day. However, severe infections require high doses, such as taking 100mg four times within 24 hours (Cunha et al., 2020). These doses should be spaced evenly daily, for example, leaving 12 hours between the prescriptions.
Nitrofurantoin is suitable because it is quickly filtered out of the blood into a person’s urine. As a result, Cunha et al. (2020) explain that the medication is concentrated at the infection’s site, which is the lower urinary tract making it more helpful to people with cystitis. The drug also maintains a low serum concentration and has little effect on the micro-organisms that exist in the bowel (Cunha et al., 2020). Therefore, there is a minimal possibility that nitrofurantoin will work for other types of infection other than the one it is intended to treat.
Cystitis requires three to seven days of monitoring when using nitrofurantoin as the treatment antibiotic because it kills the bacteria that causes the infection. However, Cunha et al. (2020) explain that a healthcare professional can determine if the drug is effective or causing side effects on the patient within one or two days after prescription. It is essential to keep track of the patient’s progress because some anti-biotics are resistant. For example, the signs and symptoms of cystitis start to disappear if the treatment is effective. The patient can have expected side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, dark urine, itchy rashes, or nausea and vomiting (Cunha et al., 2020). However, some individuals experience severe reactions such as severe headaches, chest pains, unexplainable bleeding, numbness or weakness, yellowing of the eyes, and tingling sensations (Cunha et al., 2020). Healthcare providers can change the drug if the patient experiences these aftereffects.
Every person, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, can take nitrofurantoin; therefore, I would not change the medication if the patient was pregnant. However, Cunha et al. (2020) explain that this medication is not suitable for all people. Patients should alert the healthcare provider if they have conditions such as nitrofurantoin, past allergic reactions, diabetes, liver disease, or inherited blood disorders. This helps the healthcare providers to deliver safe healthcare services.
In conclusion, UTI is caused by an outside bacterium that gets into the urinary system through the urethra. This infection is the primary cause of cystitis and pyelonephritis illnesses. Although the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment plans of these diseases are similar, they affect different body parts. Cystitis causes swelling in the bladder, while pyelonephritis affects one kidney. Healthcare professionals should differentiate the two conditions to provide the appropriate cure and prescription. Nitrofurantoin is the first drug therapy for cystitis, and it takes 3 to 7 days to work. However, the effectiveness of the drug can be observed within 48 hours after taking it. All people, including breastfeeding and pregnant women, can take this medication. However, healthcare providers can change the prescription if the patient experiences adverse aftereffects such as chest pains or headaches.
Cunha, B. A., Cunha, C. B., Lam, B., Giuga, J., Chin, J., Zafonte, V. F., & Gerson, S. (2017). Nitrofurantoin safety and effectiveness in treating acute uncomplicated cystitis (AUC) in hospitalized adults with renal insufficiency: Antibiotic stewardship implications. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 36(7), 1213-1216. Web.
Gupta, K., Grigoryan, L., & Trautner, B. (2017). Urinary tract infection. Annals of Internal Medicine, 167(7), ITC49-ITC64. Web.