I have been experiencing UTI symptoms for two months. One out of five samples came back needing antibiotic treatment. Today I saw my GP and she is saying it could be the RD. I'm on Enbrel injections and my specialist nurse said they can cause infection. This is making me feel unwell and worn down as symptoms have not improved despite two antibiotic treatments, and I was wondering if anyone else experiences UTI's with RD? Delia. X

15 Replies

  • I suffer with recurring UTIs but not had one since I started taking enbrel around 4 months ago. Thought I had one 2 months back but turned out to be a false alarm. If it had been a UTI then my GP would obviously have prescribed a course of antibiotics, he told me that he would have continued with enbrel and waited to see how things pan out. I presume that if the infection proved difficult to shift he would then have stopped the enbrel. I've had a few UTIs previous to starting enbrel, was on DMARDs at the time, they all needed two courses of antibiotics to shift them. DMARDs were not stopped while I was on antibiotics.

    Hope this helps

  • Yes thank you. I'm aware that being on these drugs lowers our immune system and infections are inevitable but a course of antibiotics in the past have cleared the infections. This one appears to be stuck like glue. Thank you for your response. X

  • It could also be happening if you are retaining urine (i.e. not emptying your bladder fully). This is best checked out by seeing a continence advisor, as they understand things like that and may be able to scan your bladder (with a portable scanner) after emptying to see if there is any retained urine. I'm not sure about Enbrel "causing" infection, but it can definitely reduce your resistance to bugs.

    The other thing to ask your doctor is whether they checked for antibiotic sensitivities when they did the urine culture (and make sure they did a urine culture and not just a dipstick test) - that is done to make sure you are given the right antibiotic that will work. If you aren't getting the right one, then the infection will come back again.

  • They dipped the first one and it showed nothing so they sent the second to the lab and it showed an infection and that the one I had was resistant to most antibiotics. They listed four that should help I've had one of those four. Yes the retention is a good suggestion as I've suffered that in the past. I did have a probe examination around two years ago and it showed all was well albeit a slight residue and the advised me how to deal with it. Last week they dipped a specimen and it showed as ok today my GP has sent another sample to the lab. Fingers crossed they will find out what going on a put me right. Thank you for your advise. X

  • Poor bladder-tone resulting in urine retention is what causes my UTIs. Best try get it looked into ASP. Being a 'head firmly stuck in the sand' sort of bloke.. I left if for far too long and eventually became quite ill. Was admitted to hospital, put on intravenous antibiotics and given an ultrasound scan, which showed serious retention. They drained over a litre from me!..no wonder I thought I was putting on weight! :)

  • Oh dear poor you. Yes I'm not letting this go I keep going back. Would you believe GP put me on medication yesterday to stop me passing urine as much and I feel much more comfortable today. I will be pursuing why this is happening though. I do not want to end up in your situation. Thank you for replying. Delia. X

  • Hi ya,

    I'm a urology physio, your symptoms could be infection related, but if your sent of sample comes back clear it can be overactive bladder. This is where u feel u need to pee too often in absence of an infection. The kicker is it can be trigger by an infection if the first instance. If uv had retention issues in the past could be. Need to get yourself im front of s urology or continence team if possible. The meds your GP has given sound like those used for over active bladder. If u are feeling better id guess that's ur problem. There are many other things you can do as u don't want to stay on those meds more than 3-6months. Stop all caffiene from your intake as that makes it worse, along with removing alcohol, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks (including gizzy water) and chocolate as they are all bladder and gut irritants, again making things worse (well maybe after Xmas?!)

    good luck, feel better and get a urology referal if possible / if samples come back clear.

    merry Christmas x

  • Hello. Thank you so much for your advise. I have cut down on Tea as I googled and that was one thing it advised to do. Gutted as I love my cuppa's. Yes I will ask for a urology referral in the new year as I have been prone to retention since having a hysterectomy thirty years ago. I will leave the chocolate alone it will be worth it to feel ' normal' again. Happy Christmas and a big thank you for your advice. Delia. Xx

  • Hi D-C, I have noticed a sensitive bladder in general since RA/RD. I have cut out caffeinated tea and coffee and only drink decaff unless a Costa treat occasionally. I drink minimum alcohol .. Christmas is one of the few exceptions when I have a few glasses of bubbly and I don't like fizzy drinks. Choc .. yup even that in moderation as it does affect the bladder too. Dare I say some ladies of a certain age (talking bout me too here ;-) ) can have bladder sensitivities which are often recurring but always best to check no UTI's as I have done, and I have seen a urologist to be doubly sure. (Had also got some intermittent slight microscopic haematuria last year which was thought to be anti-inflammatory medication related and also was told people with RA can simply shed more red bloods cells from their kidneys, but had a cystoscopy which was clear.) Both Yorkshire Tea and Ridgeways make excellent decaff tea. Coffee ... different thing as it is such a big difference between caffeinated and decaff. NK x

  • I bought the Yorkshire Tea today and don't drink Coffee but I do like chocolate occasionally however I can give that a miss if it's know to help. I Tea total so when I googled and it said Tea is a factor I was not happy. But thanx to advise this morning I'm now a Yorkshire Tea decaf drinker. Thank you for responding. X

  • If you are prone to retention, just keep alert to that happening again if your doctor has given you meds for overactive bladder. Seems to me that few GPs consider retention as an issue, and that can in itself cause "overflow" incontinence, or the need to pee small amounts often but never emptying properly. The problem is that meds for overactive bladder will just make it so much worse and if thats the real problem it could lead to a massively distended bladder. Like wishbone, I ended up in that situation and my bladder muscles shut down completely for a while (needing an indwelling catheter). Thank goodness I did get to see a continence service eventually as that was what got me back on track. Definitely worth getting onto any bladder problems quickly, and I really do think self referring to a continence advisor is the way to go, rather than relying on the often limited understanding of GPs. Also definitely worth remembering that distended bladders can also cause frequency.

  • Yes I will look into seeing a continence nurse. I get my last specimen results tomorrow so will take it from there. I've only taken one tablet just about to take a second one and I have felt so much more comfortable today no burning no pressure it's been great. Thank you for your advice. Happy Christmas too you. X

  • Hello. Thank you so much for your advise. I have cut down on Tea as I googled and that was one thing it advised to do. Gutted as I love my cuppa's. Yes I will ask for a urology referral in the new year as I have been prone to retention since having a hysterectomy thirty years ago. I will leave the chocolate alone it will be worth it to feel ' normal' again. Happy Christmas and a big thank you for your advice. Delia. Xx

  • You can have decaf tea and coffee, Yorkshire decaf with the blue band on the box is really nice, wouldn't know it was decaf. Life just never seems right without a cuppa. Good luck with the shops if you venture out. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • You read my mind I was just going to contact you and ask that question so thank you very much. Done all my shopping last day at work today for the test off the week so will be out of the rat race from 5 today. Thank you and you. X

You may also like...