This service is for women only.
Cystitis is a common infection of the bladder that can be painful when it occurs.
If you suffer from cystitis and can recognise the symptoms, we can provide effective treatment from our online doctor service.
We offer MacroBid® antibiotics to treat cystitis. This antibiotic is highly effective in treating bladder infections and symptoms usually improve within 24 hours.
You can also order a course of your cystitis medication for future use, so that you have your treatment ready when your infection starts.
|MacroBid® for future use||6 capsules||£25.00|
Dispensing and standard delivery included.
Click & Collect: free (available for next-day collection in Superdrug Pharmacies)
Next Day Delivery: £3.99
The antibiotic MacroBid rarely cause side effects.
In rare cases, side effects can include:
The symptoms of cystitis will usually clear up within 4-9 days without taking any medicines. Drinking plenty of water can help to clear the infection faster.
Your local pharmacist will be able to advise on over-the-counter treatments that do not require a prescription.
Some people find that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules can help to prevent infections recurring.
How you treat your cystitis depends on a few different things, including:
If it’s your first time
How bad your cystitis is
If you’re pregnant or not
If it’s your first time getting cystitis – then you need to go to your doctor for a check up. They can make sure it’s definitely cystitis symptoms you’re having and not something else, potentially more serious. If you’ve had cystitis before, you can either treat it at home, or if it’s more serious you could order antibiotics online, or from your GP.
If you have cystitis that’s a bit more intense that normal – it’s a good idea to get antibiotics to help you sort it out. If you leave serious cystitis without getting treatment, you can run the risk of getting a more serious kidney infection as a result. As long as it’s not your first time getting cystitis, you can order treatment online, otherwise you can go to your GP for treatment.
If you think you have cystitis symptoms but you’re also very hot (fever), having pain in your kidney area (below your ribs on either side of your back), or you’re shivering, feeling sick, or vomiting, these are signs of a possible serious kidney infection. If this happens you should see a doctor as soon as possible – through an urgent appointment or A&E.
If you’re pregnant and you get cystitis – you should see your GP, even if you’ve had cystitis before. This is because for you, cystitis will have some extra risks involved which can affect you or your baby
Short-term cystitis is usually the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI) which is normally caused by bacteria. Bacteria can get into the urinary tract (hole you pee out of) in a few different ways, and they are more likely to cause an infection there if there’s already irritation, or your immune system is weaker than usual.
Antibiotics are a kind of medication that affect how bacteria grow and multiply. When you take certain antibiotics while you have cystitis, the antibiotics will make it harder for the bacteria causing your UTI to survive, and then your body has a better chance of getting rid of the infection.
You can’t get antibiotics for cystitis over the counter. But, if you’ve only got mild cystitis, then over the counter painkillers can be enough of a treatment to help you handle the symptoms and wait until your body gets rid of the infection itself.
There are also some over the counter supplements that you can try as home remedies for cystitis. See the ‘Can you treat cystitis with bicarbonate of soda or other home remedies?’ section below for more info.
Yep – mild cystitis doesn’t usually need antibiotics anyway so you can wait for it to go away on your own. Just make sure to drink plenty of water and use painkillers or home remedies if you want.
If it’s a serious case of cystitis though, antibiotics are the safest option. This is because serious cystitis infections can make their way to your kidneys and cause more health problems and risks.
There are some home remedies you can try to help improve your symptoms and possibly help speed up how fast your body fights the infection, including:
Drinking plenty of water – 2-3 litres a day.
Pee whenever you need to – holding it in can make things worse.
Try not to drink alcohol, coffee, or citrus juices like lemon or orange because these can all irritate your bladder.
Give sugar drinks a miss.
Try drinking cranberry juice, or taking cranberry juice extract. This is probably more help to prevent cystitis than treat it though.
Get more vitamin C, ideally through your diet, but supplements might help too.
Some people swear by garlic for cystitis but it’s not a proven solution.
Bicarbonate of soda – it’s a nice idea that an everyday baking ingredient could be an easy cure for cystitis, but sadly it’s not proven to help. On the other hand, it is actually proven that using it for cystitis can be harmful. In fact 4% to 7% of bicarbonate of soda poisoning cases are people trying to treat their cystitis.
Unfortunately you can’t guarantee a 24-hour turn around for a cystitis infection. It’s possible for your body to clear the infection very quickly, but it’s not something you can easily control.
Antibiotics can usually get to work 1 to 3 days after you start taking them. But that doesn’t take into account the time for you to start treatment. If you order online with Superdrug Online Doctor, your order could be ready to collect in store the same day you order. Or else you can order for express delivery and get it sent to you door on the next working day.
Otherwise, the best way to get rid of cystitis fast is to rest, drink plenty of water, pee as often as you need to, and avoid drinking coffee, alcohol, citrus juices, and sugary drinks.
Cystitis means ‘inflammation of the bladder’ and can be caused by an infection, i.e. a UTI. So a UTI can cause cystitis, but cystitis (or inflammation of the bladder) can be caused by other things.
A UTI doesn’t always affect the bladder, so not all UTIs can be classified as cystitis, however, the two terms are often used interchangeably and treatments are the same.
One main difference if that if you get long-term (interstitial) cystitis, this isn’t usually caused by a UTI, so antibiotics aren’t going to work. Home remedies can still help, but there aren’t a lot of medication options for long-term cystitis, unfortunately.
Al-Abri, S. A. and Kearney, T. (2013). Baking soda misuse as a home remedy: case experience of the California Poison Control System. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics; 39(1): 73-77.
Bent, S. et al (2002). Does this woman have an acute uncomplicated urinary tract infection? JAMA; 287: 2701.
Domenici, L. et al (2016). D-mannose: a promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences; 20(13): 2920-5.
Falagas, M. E. et al (2009). Antibiotics versus placebo in the treatment of women with uncomplicated cystitis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Infection; 58(2): 91-102.
Foxman, B. and Frerichs, R. R. (1985). Epidemiology of urinary tract infection: II. diet, clothing, and urinary habits. American Journal of Public Health; 75(11): 1314-7.
Guay, D. R. (2009). Cranberry and urinary tract infections. Drugs; 69: 775.
InformedHealth.org (2016). Are antibiotics effective against acute cystitis? [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279401/ [accessed 2nd August 2019].
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