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Low Dose Antibiotics

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  • Low Dose Antibiotics

    Is anyone on low dose antibiotic daily or whenever they feel like a UTI is coming? I get UTIs after my period stops. Is this normal in most women with IC? This IC has ruined my life for the past 10 years. I can't take Macrobid because I get really itchy all over my body. Whenever I get UTI, I'm mainly prescribed Cipro. Is Cipro the most common antibiotic for treating UTIs/Kidney infections? I can't take penicillin, septra or sulfa drugs either. I read that Macrobid is a low dose that most women with IC do take. But there HAS to be others out there.
    Last edited by luvsterriers; 09-15-2009, 07:59 AM.
    In memory of my beloved best friend in the whole world! Timmy (West Highland White Terrier)

    God Bless,


  • #2
    My God you sound like me.

    This is exactly my problem. I am unable to tolerate Macrobid. I'm allergic to Sulfa. Penicillins and Keflex and stuff like that did not even touch the infection I just got over that lasted for months despite several courses of both. I pray it's over because I could not take another Cipro.

    I was able to get through (3) 500MG doses of Cipro over two days, but had to stop because of the side effects. In fact now that it has cleared my system more I am feeling a lot less flu like. To Cipro's credit, it was the only antibiotic that finally gave me a clear urinary strip test result. It seems to have killed the infection and all the pain I was feeling for now. I spent hours researching Cipro because I felt so sick after I took that second dose and thought what the heck is going on up here. What I found everywhere I looked is that it is NOT recommended as a first line of defense and this is on several medical sites and sites of Universities. They say you should only take Cipro as a last resort and I can see why after taking it and feeling the way I felt and am still trying to shake. It's a super powerful antibiotic with many more serious side effects than any other antibiotic you can take and the research is readily available online (they use it for Anthrax) however it is a necessary evil when nothing else works.

    It did clear my tenacious infection and like you, I have been trying to find something I can take to keep these infections at bay. I was thinking of maybe taking (1) Cipro every month after my period as a way to help stave off the UTI's which seem to come after my period is through. If you google, you will find a few studies done where (1) single dose of Cipro was more effective in killing a UTI than a whole course of Penicillen or other antibiotics (I think that's why my three doses seem to have killed the problem).

    I'm thinking if I can get by on (1) or (2) 250mg a month when I feel one coming on after I bleed, that might be the way to go as I am OK after one dose but not so OK after taking a second or third or a dose so high. Penicillins seem to do nothing for my UTI's anymore and that's scary because I am running out of options. I wish I was not allergic to Sulfa. Life would be so much easier. I tried taking a Macrobid last week when the others were not working and I felt incredibly sick and itchy. My eyes began to burn and I felt ill (makes me so mad because I actually feel perfectly fine on Augmentin and stuff like that with hardly no side effects, but what good are they if they are not working). It's frustrating when you are unable to take any of the antibiotics made solely for the urinary tract.

    The people at AskAPatient.Com have a lot to say about Cipro and there are pages upon pages upon pages. The only thing that would bother me is to have what happened to one man who was simply walking across the darn parking lot and felt nothing out of the ordinary, did not slip or anything and yet began to feel stabbing pain and realized he has ruptured his Achilles Tendon which is a known side effect. It makes you very vulnerable to injury and that would mean having to be so careful all the time that it's in my system and already I have bad Fibro as it is. I have to give it more thought, but I am right where you are now.

    I hate this disease.
    Medical Conditions:

    Severe IC
    Polycystic Ovarian Disease
    Epstein Barr
    Insulin Resistence
    Breast Cancer survivor
    Monthly Vertigo (near periods)

    Current medications:

    Elavil 50mg
    Neurontin 300mg-600mgs per day
    Librax (lifesaver) as needed
    Percocet (1) 325mg for rescue flares only (usually 2-3 per month)
    Hydroxyzine 25mg's
    Azo Cranberry 3 tablets per day
    Cipro as needed to keep UTI's at bay
    Xanax 1mg at night for sleep
    Levothyroxine 1.75 per day
    Prevacid 30mg's per day
    Zantac 150 mgs per day
    Mucinex 600mg's for Fibro
    Diflucan 150mg's after each period
    Goldenseal to keep UTI's at bay (it works)!
    Prelief as needed


    • #3
      From what I understand IC and UTI's are not in any way related. I know there are a lot of people with IC that very rarely get UTI's. Unfortunately I am not one of them and get them almost monthly. I have never thought about it, but they do seem to come after a period. Very interesting! I haven't been to my uro in quite a while but have been able to get rid of my UTI's with meds I have here at home. The name is some where in my head but I can't think of it at the moment...I get really sick from Macrobid and can't take it, Keflex no longer seems to work. I was taking Levaquin but a few months ago started having bad side effects, GP said it was a delayed reaction so I can't take it any more. It may actually be Cipro that I've been taking...I hate when I can't remember something! I'm not sure about many others. I was given penecillin when I was having the bad reaction from Levaquin but it's not something I normally take. I hope you can find something to help!
      My uro did say that I would be sent to a specialist to be put on daily antibiotics for my UTI's but I didn't stay with him long enough to go. I'm currently trying to find another uro.
      Hugs, I know how hard it is to deal with the constant UTI's on top of the IC.
      Mommy to Mahayla 3-21-07 and Dalilah 4-7-08
      Wife to Casey 2-11-2006
      Diagnosed w/ IC in 2005
      Currently taking:
      Elvail 25mg at night as needed
      (Home) Elmiron/Bicarb/Lidocaine Instills up to twice a day as needed
      Hydrocodone as needed for pain (from GP when in flares)

      Have not been to uro in over a year and have had to stop all meds because of the expense


      • #4
        I recently started a low-dose daily abx. I was first given Trimpex--its an abx thats used just for UTI's, and preventative treatment of UTI's. I was fine with the med, however it wasnt helping my symptoms. My Dr rx'd me Macrobid and I've been on that w/o issues. I know though you state that med isnt an option for you. My URO told me there are numerous abx's safe enough to take daily as a preventative so I wasnt concerned when the first med didnt help.
        I know preventatives can be rx'd differently--anywhere from daily doses to only after intercourse...this will have to be determined by your Dr based on your health history and need.
        Dont hesitate to discuss this with your DR. Taking a preventative is more common than one might think.

        Wishing you well!
        Last edited by dg2901; 09-15-2009, 05:00 PM. Reason: misspelling.
        (o.O )
        (> < ) This is Bunny. He's on his way to world domination.


        • #5

          I started of with Noroxin (I hope I spelled that right). I would take it for three days if I felt a bladder infection coming on. At some point that no longer worked for me and I switched to Macrobid, same plan. The good news in my case is that over time I used the antibiotic less and less until I was down to just once or twice a year. It definitely made a huge difference for me.



          • #6
            Hi there! this is my very first post here...i was diagnosed thursday with IC after having a cystoscopy w/ hydro. However, three weeks prior at my visit to the urologist office i was presrcibed Macrobid. its a very low dose with several refills, but i am wondering am i going to have to take this forever? almong with the other medication too..(Elmiron, Proced)


            • #7
              is macrodantin and macrobid the same thing?

              i was given macrodantin 50 per day,long term.has anyone had any success with this medication?

              after reading the side effects,i'm almost too scared to continue it.

              i always have moderate amounts of micro blood in urinalysis and this time had some white blood cells(bacteria).


              p.s.i did some research on the internet where i found that some experts believe that ic is an actual deep rooted infection that a round of antibiotics just can't clear up.maybe long term antibiotics would help certain people.that's what i'm hoping for.


              • #8
                I was put on low dose antibiotics for a year for another condition that I have, despite the fact that I had no infection. I can tell you, I wish I had never done this - now not only have I built an intolerance to any antibiotics in the same family, I have horrid GI issues as well. The doc. who prescribed this told me that with low dose antibiotics, I wouldn't have this issue. The GI and infectious disease specialist I saw later said that is not the case.

                Please be very careful and do THOROUGH research before doing any kind of long term antibiotic treatment.


                • #9

                  I'm new to these forums, and not sure whether I have IC or just a lifetime of reoccuring UTIs. I have always been prescribed drugs (used to be sulfa drugs but for the past few years has only been Cipro). Normally this will clear me up, however I suffer boughts where the prescription does not help, like now. I just finished 2 rounds of Cipro within the month and although I felt better briefly, but am back to the burning again.

                  My doctor has been really good and trying to work with me. Been to see a urologist for a scope - nothing abnormal found. Have tried some alternatives, i.e. D-Mannose which works so long as it is a bacterial infection of the E. coli sort. He tests my urine everytime, and what worries me is that the last couple of tests showed no infection.

                  I have an appointment with my Dr. today and he advised that the next step is going to be starting a low grade antibiotic daily. This scares me because I don't have a formal diagnosis of IC and the lack of infection from my urine cultures would suggest that these are not always UTIs.

                  Additionally, the last poster's comments about the low grade antibiotics really scares me. Although I guess being on Cipro regularly is like sending a sledgehammer to my bladder, so not sure if the low grade antibiotics will do any more harm.

                  If anyone has any stories to share, I'd love to hear them. This is a really wonderful community - I'm happy to have found it.


                  • #10
                    Another lifetime UTI girl here. If I have a really bad UTI, like I wait a day before getting on strong antibiotics, I will have a period of time afterwards where I have the burning, but no bacteria. (Make sure you are getting a culture done as well as the office dip test. Also make sure you are on the right med for the bug. I have had the same bug for the last three UTIs, all in the last month and a half, and someone finally read the path report, and I wasn't taking the BEST med for that bug.) Your bladder may be injured or irritated from the most recent infections, and doing a lot of the IC flare helps will help us, too. Follow the diet, etc. I really like Prosed DS for the pain, but I have to be careful that I'm not covering up an infection.
                    I'm probably going back on the long term meds, as I did that for 8 months recently with no infection and few pain symptoms. Now that I'm off, I've had a run of 4 or 5 infections in the last months. I get pretty sick each time and have progressed to pyelo, so I'm tired of messing around.
                    My uro's NP speculates that I have no healthy bladder lining left to repel bacteria, just scar tissue, so I am left vulnerable. She wonders if Elmiron would potentially regrow that lining, but there is no research on this. I may play guinea pig, because from what I can tell, it won't hurt me to try it.


                    • #11
                      Yep - my doctor put me on a low dose antibiotic for 6 months before looking into elmiron in the hope that it would help subside some symptoms first. It seems to be helping certain things (suprapubic pain) but now i get really intense pains when I pee... :s Hows it going for you?
                      "If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best..."


                      • #12
                        Well I returned to the dr's and he did a urine culture. He said that there was puss and blood in my urine, but not enough to prescribe Cipro again. Basincally he wrote me a prescription for Diflocan and apologized for not being able to help me. Ugg...

                        So I took the Diflocan and 3 days later still burning. I did some internet research and discovered that I likely had bacterial vaginosis so went to the walk in clinic. The doctor prescribed some metronidazole and I noticed an improvement within a couple of days. Dr. figured I had an imbalance of flora given two rounds of Cipro I was on.

                        I'm just finishing the prescription now and glad the burning is gone. I guess we'll see what happens, but it's pretty sad that hubby and I have been intimate only twice in over a month. Bloody urinary tract is not doing any favours for my sex life, that's for sure


                        • #13
                          I have been on 100mg Macrobid at bedtime for the past 11 months because of the severe UTI's I get. I go to see him next month and I am really doing well. I think we could drop to 30MG at bedtime .I'll see what he says.


                          • #14
                            Is that antibiotic safe to take if you are pregnant? Any side effects that you've noticed?


                            • #15
                              I have had no problems with it at all. I'm 67 years old so pregnancy is not an issue for me. One thing he did tell me macrobid oly affects the bladder,no where else in the body. Check with your Gyn.