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What Are the Treatments for a Proteus UTI?

author image Shamala Pulugurtha
A freelance writer and blogger since 2007, Shamala Pulugurtha's work has appeared in magazines such as the "Guide to Health and Healing" and prominent websites like Brain Blogger and NAMI California. Pulugurtha has a postgraduate degree in medical microbiology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India and has completed course work in psychology and health education.
What Are the Treatments for a Proteus UTI?
Antibiotics - Mainstay of Proteus UTI Treatment Photo Credit pill, pills image by laviniaparscuta from Fotolia.com

Proteus species like Proteus mirabillis, Proteus vulgaris and Proteus penneri are one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially in patients with a catheter or an abnormal urinary tract. In fact, Proteus sp. is responsible for only 1 to 2 percent of UTIs in healthy individuals but accounts for about 44 percent of cystitis, acute polynephritis and urinary stone cases among patients with a complicated urinary tract. The proper treatment plan depends on the overall health of the patient and the severity of the symptoms.


Anti-pyretics are medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen that can bring down the body temperature. These are often given orally or intravenously to individuals with Proteus urinary tract infections to control their fever.


Antibiotics are the first line of defense against urinary tract infections caused by Proteus sp. Patients with uncomplicated infections of the lower urinary tract and almost 70 percent of the patients with acute cystitis and polynephritis can be treated as outpatients and are usually prescribed oral antibiotics for seven to 14 days. If this treatment is ineffective or if more complications develop, the patient is hospitalized and higher doses of the antibiotics are given intravenously to control the infection. Intravenous administration of the antibiotics can also be done in catheterized or hospitalized patients and children, especially if they are not able to take the medication orally.

Infections caused by P mirabillis can be treated using ampicillin; broad-spectrum penicillins; first-, second-, and third-generation cephalosporins; imipenem; and aztreonam. Some strains of P vulgaris and P penneri may be resistant to ampicillin and first-generation cephalosporins. Thus, UTIs caused by these bacteria are commonly treated using imipenem, fourth-generation cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, TMP/SMZ, and quinolones. In addition, anti-bacterial agents like chlorhexidine and triclosan may be used in catheterization systems to reduce the incidence of Proteus UTI in patients with long-term indwelling catheters.

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Increased amounts of fluids are given orally or intravenously to the patient suffering from a Proteus urinary tract infection to help maintain renal function and to prevent the formation of renal stones. Fluids also help to flush out the bacteria through urine and prevent further complications.


Anticholinergics are medications like oxybutynin that inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn controls the involuntary movements of the urinary tract. These drugs are prescribed to relieve bladder spasms that cause the sense of urgent and painful urination during some Proteus UTIs. These drugs should be used with caution in men with a large prostate gland as they may cause urinary retention.

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