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Chronic Pyelonephritis Medication

  • Author: James W Lohr, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN  more...
Updated: Dec 06, 2015

Medication Summary

The penicillins (amoxicillin) and first-generation cephalosporins are the drugs of choice because of good activity against gram-negative rods and good oral bioavailability. In infants, the choice of antibiotics is either amoxicillin or a first-generation cephalosporin. In patients aged 3-6 months, therapy can be changed to sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin. Older children and adults may be treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim).

Once one antibiotic is chosen, frequent changes in the antibiotic regimen are discouraged to help prevent the development of resistance.



Class Summary

Antibiotic therapy must be comprehensive and cover all likely pathogens in the context of this clinical setting.

Amoxicillin (Moxatag)


Amoxicillin interferes with the synthesis of cell wall mucopeptides during active multiplication, resulting in bactericidal activity against susceptible bacteria..

Cephalexin (Keflex)


Cephalexin is a first-generation cephalosporin that arrests bacterial growth by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. It has bactericidal activity against rapidly growing organisms.

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim DS, Septra DS, Sulfatrim)


Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting the synthesis of dihydrofolic acid. Bacterial species it acts against include common urinary tract pathogens, except Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrodantin, Macrobid)


This is a synthetic nitrofuran that interferes with bacterial carbohydrate metabolism by inhibiting acetylcoenzyme A. Nitrofurantoin is bacteriostatic at low concentrations (5-10 mcg/mL) and bactericidal at higher concentrations.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

James W Lohr, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Fellowship Program Director, University of Buffalo State University of New York School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

James W Lohr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Heart Association, American Society of Nephrology, Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research

Disclosure: Partner received salary from Alexion for employment.


Chike Magnus Nzerue, MD, FACP Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Meharry Medical College

Chike Magnus Nzerue, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Anupama Gowda, MBBS, MD Consulting Staff, Peachtree Nephrology, PC

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN Huberwald Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology-Hypertension, Tulane University School of Medicine; Chief, Renal Section, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Richard A Santucci, MD, FACS Specialist-in-Chief, Department of Urology, Detroit Medical Center; Chief of Urology, Detroit Receiving Hospital; Director, The Center for Urologic Reconstruction; Clinical Professor of Urology, Michigan State University College of Medicine

Richard A Santucci, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Surgeons, American Urological Association, and Société Internationale d'Urologie (International Society of Urology)

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

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