Hi Louise - about the time I was finally put on Plaquenil, and was at my sickest, I also had a UTI. Have had 3-4 in the last year and a half and that is more than I've had in over 10 yrs. I recently dropped my Plaquenil back to half the dose and after 5 wks went into a big flare and another UTI which required 7 days of abx. Of course I resumed my regular dose of Plaquenil.
I've wondered if there is a connection between the AI problem and the UTI's. My PC is the one who ends up treating it and I keep forgetting to ask my rheumy about it. I don't seem to have the typical sx of UTI - no burning, cramping, kidney pain, etc. Or it's so mild compared to everything else it goes under the radar lol. I just feel extra tired, may have a very low grade fever, and notice bubbles/foam in my pee.
Cranberry pills can help without adding all the sugar of juice, staying well hydrated with water, and sometimes when I'm feeling particularly lousy and suspect a UTI, I'll use AZO strips to test for infection. I think they are pretty accurate. If it tests mildly positive I'll use the cranberry pills and flush my system, then retest in a couple days. Often that takes care of it. If not, I call the doc.
Good question - more info would be great.....