How to get antibiotics prescribed right now without going to ER?
May 3, 2022 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm in Chicago. I have a UTI. I know what it is; I'm prone to them (2-3 times a year). My doctor's office is closed, all of the urgent care facilities are closed, and I'm not going to an ER and risk COVID to get antibiotics. What are my options?

I'm in terrible pain, but AZO makes me vomit, so that's out as well.
posted by tzikeh to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Can you do a telemedicine visit through your insurance provider? Or through something like CVS minute clinic? And have them call the prescription into a 24 hour pharmacy.
posted by muddgirl at 6:52 PM on May 3, 2022 [18 favorites]

Is your regular doctor part of a large practice? They might have one of their doctors on call overnight or answering messages. Also, if you are a person who sees an OBGYN their practices always have overnight coverage; if that doctor is familiar with your pattern, you might be able to have someone call in a prescription for you. Fingers crossed - hope you feel better soon.
posted by sencha at 6:57 PM on May 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Does Cystex also make you vomit? It has a different active ingredient than AZO, at least. It's sodium salicylate and methenamine, while AZO is phenazopyridine hydrochloride. (IANAD!)
posted by unknowncommand at 7:10 PM on May 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Page your doctor. Most PCPs and OBGYNs have some sort of after-hours paging service. This counts as the type of urgent need that an on-call dr can handle and would expect to handle. Be very clear that you KNOW what a UTI feels like and that you will come in to be seen (yes at an ER) if the antibiotics aren’t working within 48 hours.
posted by you'rerightyou'rerightiknowyou'reright at 7:12 PM on May 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Also, drink lots of water and cranberry juice while you’re waiting to get treated. The one thing I’ve found that cuts down on the pain is making sure you have a full bladder so that every time you sit down to pee, there’s at least something to push out. Good luck!
posted by you'rerightyou'rerightiknowyou'reright at 7:13 PM on May 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have had good luck with It’s $65 for the “doctor visit” (you fill out a form, a doctor reviews your symptoms and sends a script to your pharmacy). I had a prescription in less than two hours.
posted by Siobhan at 7:33 PM on May 3, 2022 [14 favorites]

Seconding to check both your doctor’s office for a paging service and your insurance for a video-visit service - I’ve seen several insurances now that offer quick calls with RNs+ who can prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection or UTI. Feel better soon!
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 7:55 PM on May 3, 2022

I've used Nurx dot com for this during the pandemic. There's a quick consultation and then they ship you the meds.

Also the Azo makes me barfy too but I can sometimes get around it by sipping a coca-cola on ice, slowly, right after taking it--like, I take it WITH the coca cola and go from there. Yeah you're not supposed to drink caffeine with a UTI yadda but for me it's worth it to get the pain relief.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:28 PM on May 3, 2022

If you just need a small dose to "tide you over", sometimes pharmacies will give you a weekend's worth of stuff if you filled stuff there before and they can look through your old prescriptions, depending on the pharmacist.

Else, if you have a job, worker's assistance program often have a "nurse on call" who can probably give you a prescription if you can show her the old prescription bottle that seems to support your story.
posted by kschang at 9:55 PM on May 3, 2022

Supplement d Manos
at Whole Foods works wonderfully for us.
posted by markbrendanawitzmissesus at 10:21 PM on May 3, 2022

Best answer: Do you have insurance?

Many cover 24 hour telemedicine services, for example, mine offers MDLive. You just download the app, punch in some health history info and your preferred pharmacy, and wait ten minutes or so for a video visit with a physician.

I use it for quick health issues like antibiotics or "hey what's this weird rash on my kid," and even therapy.

Google "(insurer name) telemedicine" and you'll find information and a link.

I hope you feel better soon.
posted by champers at 4:26 AM on May 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If its not too late check out fresh bennies. Includes free full doctor visits via telemedicine. My company includes and a benefit but its under $20 a month for an individual and if i didn't get it for free, after using it, I'd pay for it. I have a similar thing with chronic bronchitis. I don't a damn visit, just prednisone!!
posted by chasles at 4:59 AM on May 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I tried telemedicine through my insurance company, and it was... less than optimal (male doctor told me it could not be a UTI as I had no lower back pain and was in all kinds of other ways flat-out terrible and condescending). I went on WISP but it seems to require a subscription? So I ended up paging my doctor's practice and they were able to get a prescription to a 24-hour pharmacy for me. So one double-masked round-trip Uber later I was finally done with pain. And yes, moms and dads, I always take the full course of antibiotics I'm prescribed, even though it doesn't hurt anymore.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
posted by tzikeh at 8:47 AM on May 4, 2022 [8 favorites]

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