Treatment for pyelonephritis usually includes rest, plenty of liquids, antibiotics, and pain medications. Some patients can be treated with a single dose of injectable antibiotics, followed by a 7 to 14 day course of oral antibiotics. Some patients will require admission to the hospital for a longer course of intravenous antibiotics. Additional treatment for pyelonephritis may include surgery to remove a kidney stone or a collection of pus that could be blocking the urinary tract.
Treatment options for pyelonephritis include:
- Encourage liquids
- Acetaminophen for pain and fever control
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Medication for bladder pain:
- Oral antibiotics for pyelonephritis:
Treatment options for severe pyelonephritis include:
- Intravenous fluids
- Intravenous antibiotics for pyelonephritis
- Gentamicin (Garamycin)
- Ampicillin (Principen, Omnipen, Marcillin)
- Ampicillin and sulbactam (Unasyn)
- Tobramycin (Nebcin)
- Meropenem (Merrem IV)
- Piperacillin and Tazobactam sodium (Zosyn)
- Ticarcillin and clavulanate potassium (Timentin)
- Imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin)
- Surgery for pyelonephritis
In the following situations, surgery may be required to treat pyelonephritis:
Pyelonephritis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of pyelonephritis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having pyelonephritis again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat pyelonephritis:
Continue to Pyelonephritis Home Care
- Bloomfield P, Hodson EM, Craig JC. Antibiotics for acute pyelonephritis in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD003772. 
- Efstathiou SP, Pefanis AV, Tsioulos DI, Zacharos ID, Tsiakou AG, Mitromaras AG, Mastorantonakis SE, Kanavaki SN, Mountokalakis TD. Acute pyelonephritis in adults: prediction of mortality and failure of treatment. Arch Intern Med. 2003 May 26;163(10):1206-12. 
- Ramakrishnan K, Scheid DC. Diagnosis and management of acute pyelonephritis in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Mar 1;71(5):933-42.