Medication for Urinary Tract Infections in Children

Doctors at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone prescribe medication to eliminate the cause of a urinary tract infection, or UTI, and relieve symptoms, such as fever, pain, and constipation.


In most children, infection with Escherichia coli—or E. coli, a type of bacterium found in the digestive tract—is the cause of a urinary tract infection. For this reason, our doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic that is effective in eliminating E. coli and other organisms. They may do so even before the laboratory test results are available in order to quickly relieve any uncomfortable symptoms your child is experiencing.

If the laboratory test results reveal that your child has another type of bacterial infection after treatment has begun, the doctor may then prescribe a different antibiotic that is more effective against that type of bacteria.

Children with mild infections who are able to tolerate medication by mouth can be treated at home. However, babies and children who have a severe UTI may receive antibiotics and other treatment through an intravenous (IV) catheter, a thin, plastic tube that is inserted through a vein in your child’s arm or leg.

An IV catheter may also be used to deliver fluids to a child who has had a fever, a reduced intake of fluids, vomiting, or diarrhea caused by the infection. Children who are treated with IV therapy usually remain in the hospital for two or three days.

Medication for Symptoms

Our doctors may recommend pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, to reduce fever and pain caused by a UTI. In addition, they may suggest that your child take over-the-counter fiber supplements, stool softeners, or laxatives, which can relieve constipation.

Constipation is a common problem among children with voiding dysfunction, or unusual urination patterns that are caused by poor coordination between muscles in the bladder and urethra.

Resources for Urinary Tract Infections in Children
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