Diseases of the urinary system, or urinary tract infections, have several forms, and one of these is pyelitis. This condition is characterized by the inflammation of the kidney pelvis, the enlarged upper end of the ureter (the duct that conveys the urine from the kidney to the bladder). The inflammation is caused by pus-producing bacteria, the most common of which is the colon bacillus. The bacteria that cause pyelitis may arrive through the bloodstream; in other instances, they may come upward through the ureter from an infected bladder. (This condition is referred to as “pyelonephritis” if the kidney substance is likewise involved.)
The bacteria may originate from infections occurring in almost anywhere in the body, such as those affecting the teeth or tonsils. The bacteria may remain in the pelvis of the kidney for years if not cleared out by thorough treatment. Antibiotics, to which the bacteria that cause pyelitis are susceptible, are normally prescribed to treat the condition. One such antibiotic that is used for this purpose is nitrofurantoin (examples are the brand names Furadantin of Elan Pharmaceuticals and Macrodantin of Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals).
The prominent symptom of pyelitis is a tendency to frequent voiding of urine; if the inflammation is great, there is a constant painful desire for micturition. Also in pyelitis, there may be high fever, severe chills, nausea, headache, and vomiting for days at a time. There may also be tenderness over the kidney area in the back.
As a urinary anti-infective type of drug, nitrofurantoin is of value in treating pyelitis since it appears in large amounts in the urine. However, nitrofurantoin should not be used to treat infections occurring in other parts of the body. This drug is not recommended for those with kidney disease, pregnant women, and infants under age 3 months.
Some of the possible side effects of nitrofurantoin include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In some cases, there may be chills, fever, chest pain, cough, difficulty in breathing, itching, rashes, drowsiness, temporary loss of hair, and jaundice. The occurrence of any of these side effects should be reported immediately to a doctor, who will look into the problem and determine if the use of the drug should be stopped or may be continued at reduced doses.
The usual dose of nitrofurantoin for adults suffering from pyelitis is 50 to 100 milligrams, 4 times per day. For children over age 3 months, the recommended dose is 2 to 3 milligrams per pound of body weight in 4 divided doses. People with chronic pyelitis may take nitrofurantoin in lower doses over a long period. To help decrease nausea, stomach upset, or other gastrointestinal symptoms, it is suggested that nitrofurantoin be taken with milk or food. Doctors likewise suggest continuing taking nitrofurantoin at least 3 days after the individual ceases experiencing symptoms of pyelitis.
1. “Nitrofurantoin” – http://www.drugs.com/nitrofurantoin.html
2. “Pyelitis” – http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/medical/pyelitis.htm