Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics are used in the treatment of Prostatitis?

Updated: Nov 01, 2019
  • Author: Paul J Turek, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Empiric antibiotics should be tailored toward treating gram-negative pathogens. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), where Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis are the primary suspected pathogens, must also be considered, especially in patients younger than 35 years.

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated treatment guidelines for gonococcal infection recommend single-dose IM ceftriaxone, plus single-dose oral azithromycin or 7 days of oral doxycycline. [24] Cotreatment offers the benefits of hindering the development of antimicrobial resistant gonococci and providing coverage against C trachomatis infection, which often accompanies gonococcal infection. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are no longer recommended to treat gonorrhea in the United States.

For the treatment of chronic bacterial prostatitis, where Enterobacteriaceae, enterococci, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are common pathogens, consider trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) or fluoroquinolones for 28 days or more as empiric agents.

For nonbacterial prostatitis caused by Chlamydia and Ureaplasma species, which are difficult to culture, an empiric trial of doxycycline or erythromycin should be instituted.

Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

This fluoroquinolone is indicated to treat acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis due to Escherichia coli, E faecalis, or Staphylococcus epidermidis. It has good concentration in the prostate. This is the L stereoisomer of the D/L parent compound ofloxacin, the D form being inactive. It provides good monotherapy with extended coverage against Pseudomonas species, as well as excellent activity against pneumococcus. Levofloxacin acts by inhibition of DNA gyrase activity.


Ofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone that is a pyridine carboxylic acid derivative with a broad-spectrum bactericidal effect.

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR)

This agent is a fluoroquinolone that inhibits bacterial DNA synthesis and, consequently, growth, by inhibiting DNA gyrase and topoisomerases, which are required for replication, transcription, and translation of genetic material. Quinolones have broad activity against gram-positive and gram-negative aerobic organisms. Ciprofloxacin has no activity against anaerobes. Continue treatment for at least 2 days (7-14 d typical) after signs and symptoms have disappeared.

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra DS)

Trimethoprim inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting synthesis of dihydrofolic acid. The antibacterial activity of TMP-SMZ includes common urinary tract pathogens, except P aeruginosa.

Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

A third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity, ceftriaxone has lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms; higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Its bactericidal activity results from inhibiting cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more penicillin-binding proteins.

This agent exerts its antimicrobial effect by interfering with synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major structural component of bacterial cell wall. Bacteria eventually lyse due to the ongoing activity of cell wall autolytic enzymes while cell wall assembly is arrested.

Ceftriaxone is highly stable in presence of beta-lactamases, both penicillinase and cephalosporinase, of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Approximately 33-67% of the dose excreted unchanged in urine, and remainder is secreted in bile and ultimately in feces as microbiologically inactive compounds. Ceftriaxone reversibly binds to human plasma proteins, and binding has been reported to decrease from 95% bound at plasma concentrations of less than 25 mcg/mL to 85% bound at 300 mcg/mL.

Doxycycline (Adoxa, Monodox, Doryx, Vibramycin)

Doxycycline inhibits protein synthesis and, thus, bacterial growth by binding to 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible bacteria. It may block dissociation of peptidyl tRNA from ribosomes, causing RNA-dependent protein synthesis to arrest.

Doxycycline is used to treat nonbacterial prostatitis caused by Chlamydia species. Chlamydia and Ureaplasma are difficult to culture; therefore, an empiric trial of doxycycline should be instituted.

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