Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Pyelonephritis Treatment

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:


Treatment options for severe pyelonephritis include:

In the following situations, surgery may be required to treat pyelonephritis:
  • Renal abscess:
    • A collection of pus forms in the kidney
  • Kidney stones
  • Structure of the kidney, ureters or bladder is abnormal

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?

Pyelonephritis Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat pyelonephritis:

Continue to Pyelonephritis Home Care

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pyelonephritis References
  1. Bloomfield P, Hodson EM, Craig JC. Antibiotics for acute pyelonephritis in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD003772. [15674914]
  2. 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. [12767958]
  3. Ramakrishnan K, Scheid DC. Diagnosis and management of acute pyelonephritis in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Mar 1;71(5):933-42. [15768623]
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