Pyelonephritis is treated with antibiotics, which may need to be taken for several weeks. While a urine sample is sent to a lab for culture, the health care provider may begin treatment with an antibiotic that fights the most common types of bacteria. Once culture results are known and the bacteria is clearly identified, the health care provider may switch the antibiotic to one that more effectively targets the bacteria. Antibiotics may be given through a vein, orally, or both. Urinary tract obstructions are often treated with surgery.
Severely ill patients may be hospitalized and limited to bed rest until they can take the fluids and medications they need on their own. Fluids and medications may be given intravenously during this time.
In adults, repeat urine cultures should be performed after treatment has ended to make sure the infection does not recur. If a repeat test shows infection, another 14-day course of antibiotics is prescribed; if infection recurs again, antibiotics are prescribed for 6 weeks.