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Catheter-associated UTI

  • Alternative Names

    UTI - catheter associated; Urinary tract infection - catheter associated; Nosocomial UTI; Health care associated UTI; Catheter-associated bacteriuria


    Mild cases of acute UTI may disappear on their own without treatment. However, because of the risk of the infection spreading to the kidneys (complicated UTI), treatment is usually recommended.

    In most cases, treatment can be done on an outpatient basis.


    Antibiotics may be used to control the bacterial infection. It is very important that you finish all of your prescribed antibiotics. Commonly used antibiotics include:

    • Cephalosporins (such as ceftriaxone or cefepime)
    • Fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin or levaquin)
    • Penicillins (amoxicillin)
    • Quinolones (ciprofloxacin)

    Medications to relax the bladder spasms (anticholinergics) may also be given.

    Phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium) may be used to reduce burning and urinary urgency.


    Surgery is generally not needed for catheter-related urinary tract infection. However, chronic in-body catheters (Foley or suprapubic tube) should be changed every month. Proper sterile techniques must be used.


    Increasing the amount of fluids to 2,000 - 4,000 cc per day increases urine flow. This flushes bacteria from the bladder. Avoid fluids that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol, citrus juices, and caffeine.


    Follow-up may include urine cultures to ensure that bacteria are no longer present in the bladder.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Cystitis (bladder infection) associated with catheters is often difficult to treat. Most people who have a catheter in place for any period of time will develop some type of cystitis.

    • Chronic or recurrent urinary tract infection
    • Kidney or bladder stones
    • Kidney damage or chronic scarring (hydronephrosis)
    • Severe infection of the bloodstream (sepsis)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of cystitis or a catheter-related UTI.

    If you have cystitis, call if your symptoms get worse if you develop:

    • Back or flank pain
    • Fever
    • Vomiting