Urology Expert Forum
How long is too long for antibiotic usage
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Questions in the Urology forum are answered by medical professionals at Healthcare Magic. Topics covered include benign prostate disease, penis curvature, cystisis, kidney stones, pediatric urology, prostate, sexual dysfunction, urinary tract infections (UTI), and urological cancers.

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How long is too long for antibiotic usage


  Hello,
  I am a 50 year old male.  Six weeks or so ago I got a UTI.
  While I realize this is rare for a male, I know the reason
  why it occurred and that is not the issue in my question.
  Its symptoms were simply feeling rotten in general and
  cloudy urine - no burning or urgency.  My family practice
  physician put me on 800mg Septra DS twice a day for 10 days.
  However, about 3 weeks after I quit taking it one of my
  testicles became sore, swelled up, and I got cloudy urine,
  blood in my urine, and blood in my semen - but no burning or
  urgency.  So I am thinking, "this is probably a prostate
  infection".  In any event, I went to see my urologist who
  put me on a course of Cipro.  He said that 10 days on
  antibiotics is often insufficient so he prescribed 500mg
  of Cipro twice a day for the first 10 days then 500mg of
  Cipro once a day for 50 more days.  This is a total of 2
  months on this antibiotic.  After about 5 days on it
  everything started to get better and the painful part of
  the swelling went down, although I understand that
  getting back to normal size can take several months.
  I would simply like some information on the side effects of
  being on this medication that long.  The PDR indicates that
  prolonged useage might affect the kidneys.  I am also concerned
  about possibly building up an immunity to this drug or others
  in the same family.  Since I am totally medically uninformed,
  any opinions on anything pertaining to what I have mentioned
  will be appreciated.
  Thanks,
  Ray
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Dear Ray,
Your concerns regarding long term antibiotic use in regards to development of resistant organisms (bacteria) and possible side effects are legitimate.  Although what you initially described sounds like a UTI (urinary tract infection), what you later describe 3 weeks after the initial antibiotic course sounds like a UTI with involvement of the epididymis/testis (epididymitis, orchitis) which require a longer course of antibiotic treatment.  In general, the choice of antibiotics is at the discretion of your physician, but we usually start with the least expensive and safer antibiotics, and save the
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