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Thread: Taking augmentin for urethritis?!?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Taking augmentin for urethritis?!?

    I've had an inflamed opening to my urethera for a few days, and it is getting worse. It is redder and more painful and expanding (about 1/2 inch diameter now). There is a little puss-like or bloody drainage. I've never had this problem in 22 years of SCI.

    I use a SP tube and have had no sexual activity. So nothing is going in or out of the penis, and nothing is irritating it. So I don't know the cause. I don't seem to have a UTI, no fever or urine odor or sediment.

    The big change in my life was hemorrhoid surgery 6 weeks ago. It started with a 2-pint blood transfusion. I had pneumonia or bronchitis a month ago, and got rid of it with levaquin. The main change now is my diet; I eat a lot more fiber, and no beef or cheese or dairy. The bowel program is going well, without added laxatives, just the magic bullet, and I'm starting to add meat (chicken) to my diet. Constipation had been a problem after the surgery.

    ** Could a lot of fiber cause irritation of the urethra? **

    Over the phone, my PCP prescribed augmentin today, and I started it tonight. After reading about this, it seems a little drastic. No urine or urethral culture was taken. He said I should see improvement within 2 days if it is going to work. And he said to circle the red area, and if it expands by another centimeter, to go to the emergency room. He'd be worried about a deep skin infection (I forgot the technical name).

    After being worried about constipation for the past few weeks, I am now worried about diarrhea from the augmentin. Yes, I read Bob’s warning here about not taking it on an empty stomach. Thanks, Bob! I was lucky with that tonight, taking it right before dinner.

    ** Is it ok to take Imodium while taking augmentin (if it does give me diarrhea)? **
    (I read somewhere not to do that.)

    I haven't had a cystoscopy for a couple years, so I know I'm due. But I'll be out of town Dec 26-31. I think I've noticed (felt) unusual urethral sphincter spasticity lately.

    My main reason for posting here is that I'm supposed to take 2 augmentins per day, starting tomorrow, and I really think it will give me diarrhea (which is a nightmare, of course).

    ** I'd like to know how to avoid the diarrhea, or whether I can stop the augmentin after taking the one pill tonight, and ask my doc for something else, like urised or cipro. **

    Or should I just endure for two days, until I know whether the augmentin works on the urethritis?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Dave, about that transfusion.... You should get a swab culture of the area and a bood test for herpes. Our blood banks test donors but there are false negatives that happen.

    The reason you shouldn't take imodium is that diarrhea when taking antibotics is often from an overgrowth of the C. Difficile bacteria. C. Diff can make you incredibly ill so it's better to have a culture done of the diarrhea and another antibiotic prescribed for it. Normally Flagyl is prescribed. Taking Imodium traps the bacteria in you and just makes you very sick.

    I'd call your doc and ask if another drug could be substituted that you tolerate better. Otherwise I'd suggest taking acidophilus a couple times a day to keep the good bacteria up. Oh and you can call your pharmacist and ask about taking something like metamucil with the Augmentin.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts, Sue. I will take it all to heart. Herpes would suck, and I didn't even get to "earn" it. Will a blood test actually detect it?

    After another day of augmentin, I don't quite have dairrhea, just loose stool. So I will continue to try to avoid Imodium, and get some acidophilus. This antibiotic seems to be helping, less "pain" and inflammation.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Yup, a blood test will tell if it's type 1 or 2 if the culture is positive and the culture can be read immediately. The little round capsules of acidolphilus seem to be the best around these days. They are in bubble packs in a gold box. Can't remember the name but they stay alive wihout refrigeration. If it gets watery take a sample first then take imodium if you have to. At least they can test it and if positive for a nasty bug they can add a fix antibiotic to your med bag.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    No diarrhea with augmentin

    Sue, is it still useful to do a herpes culture when the symptoms are gone? The augmentin seems to be working (or the herpes "conveniently" went away for the moment?); there's no more redness or inflammation. I guess I can just wait for more symptoms in the coming months, if I really do have herpes. I saw pictures online that look really bad. Mine was only around the opening -- theirs look like sores everywhere, but no so much in the urethra, from what I saw.

    Guess what? I was constipated this morning! So I don't think augmentin gives me dairrhea at all (in my current state of health). That loose stool 2 days ago was probably from Mexican food. I worry too much; I actually had half an Imodium out yesterday, then decided not to take it. On the contrary, I should have kept up with the fiber and prunes, and not eaten meat. Now, I'm desperately trying to get things working again before I fly to Florida tomorrow. Going from Colorado (1 mile high) to Florida (0 miles high) ALWAYS slows down the bowels (for several days).

    I'll be done with the augmentin Friday, and I'll give a follow-up report later.
    Last edited by dnvrdave; 12-26-2007 at 12:36 AM.

  6. #6
    If the "bug" isherpes, it will still culture out. It seems as though the augmentin is working so my guess is that it is something else.
    Be careful adding the fiber to your diet. Between all the changes that traveling brings (different water, food, etc) you can easily swing from constipation to diarrhea.
    Make sure that you drink plenty of water while you are flying and for a day afterwards. Flying dehydrates you.
    CKF

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Yup, if Augmentin fixed things then it probably isn't herpes. And the water in Florida makes me take imodium. Hope your trip is fun and 'uneventful'.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    "Multiple Abnormalities" from blood test

    The urethritis (inflammation, discharge, "pain") came back last week, and I decided not to fight it, just to let it run its course, and get the herpes (HSV 1 and 2) blood tests that Sue P. suggested.

    After 3 or 4 days, the urethritis went away on its own, the same amount of time it lasted when I took augmentin for it a month ago. So I suspected herpes again, and figured the augmentin didn't do anything for it (as it wouldn't).

    Also, I had a cold sore on the edge of my mouth a couple weeks ago, unlike any I've ever had (I'd had only canker sores, inside my mouth). It was quite painful and irritating, but went away in 3 or 4 days, and never blistered or got very big.

    Anyway, even though these are very mild herpes-like symptoms, since I had a blood transfusion 3 months ago and Sue brilliantly foresaw the possibility, I had blood tests (HSV1,2 and CBC) and urine culture done last week. My doctor left me a concerned phone message last night, after the results were in, saying to call him as soon as I could, and see him Thursday, his next available appointment, to "do more counts". He said there were "multiple abnormalities" in the test results, but that I shouldn't worry (even though HE sounded worried!).

    Of course, I couldn't reach my doc on the phone, and my hypochondria is kicking in big-time, imagining imminent disease and death. I feel quite healthy and stay very active (with only 5 hours of sleep each night, lately), so I kind of wish I'd just ignore these Western medicine techniques.

    ...But I'll let you know what happens..

    (Oh, and Florida was a wonderful, relaxed week of welcome warmth, with no health problems.)

  9. #9
    Give the doctor or his nurse another call- I am sure it is nothing he can't treat & cure.

    CWO

  10. #10
    Senior Member dnvrdave's Avatar
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    I need iron infusions

    Thanks for your reply, CWO. You were right. My overworked doctor (with a new baby at home) forgot that I'd lost a lot of blood and had surgery 3 months ago; that's why he was so concerned about my test results:

    CBC (blood test) concerns:
    White Blood Cell Count 3.6 (Normal is 4-10.5)
    Hemoglobin 11.5 (Normal is 13-18)
    Hematocrit 33.6 (Normal is 37-55)
    Platelets 98 (Normal is 140-415)

    My hemoglobin and hematocrit haven't gone up since the transfusions and surgery 3 months ago. And WBC and platelets have dropped from 5.3 and 168, respectively. So I am concerned about all that.

    The iron and binding capacity tests were ok, but the ferritin serum test showed 10 (Normal is 22-322). Because of this my doctor ordered IV iron infusions over the next few weeks (oral would take longer and cause constipation).

    Nurse: Will iron infusion increase the other levels (hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelets), too?

    ** Is there anything about iron infusion I should be aware of as a quad? **

    Herpes (HSV 1 and 2) were both negative. Yay!!!!

    Urine Culture concerns:
    White Blood Cell (Esterase) 3+ (Normal is negative)
    Occult blood -- trace amt.
    White blood cell 6-10 (normal is 0-5)
    Pseudomonas aeruginosa > 100,000 colony
    Staphylococcus aureus 50,000-100,000 colony

    My doc was most concerned about the high pseudomonas count, but the only effective antibiotics are IV. And I think I've had this bacteria for years, and I have no symptoms of a UTI. So we are not treating this, except to tell my urologist next Tuesday at my cystoscopy.

    My doc said the urine abnormalities (esp. blood) can be caused by the urethritis. I thought it would have been the other way around. He said the urethritis would normally be caused by irritation, like sex or an indwelling catheter, which I don't have (just SP tube), so that's still a mystery. Maybe it won't come back.

    Well, thanks for listening, everybody! I hope this info is useful to some, and I appreciate any and all feedback.

    --David

    I think I'll get rid of the bloody avatar for a while. Maybe it's been bad luck ;-)
    Last edited by dnvrdave; 02-09-2008 at 02:48 AM.

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