Phenazopyridine is used to ease the pain, irritation, and discomfort caused by urinary tract infections.
While the medication is effective in treating the discomfort and pain caused by urinary tract infections, it nevertheless needs to be used with a doctor’s prescription and comes with its own side effects. The drug may not treat the underlying cause for the urinary tract infection, but should help relieve some of the painful symptoms associated with it. Basically, this drug soothes the inner lining of the urinary tract, helping to provide some immediate relief from the pain and irritation when passing urine.
2 What to know before using
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Phenazopyridine or any other medications. You should also inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any foods, dyes, or animals. It is always important to keep your doctor informed regarding any other medication you may be currently taking as well as your current health status since this can impact the treatment for your urinary tract and the medications used to relieve the painful symptoms. Do note that phenazopyridine may react adversely to certain medications and can even exacerbate the current condition. So, kindly inform your doctor about other medications you may be taking at the moment, and remember, sometimes a urinary tract infection could be a sign of a more serious underlying problem.
The use of this medication has not demonstrated different side effects or problems in children and the elderly than it does in adults.
Pregnancy category B: No risks have been found in humans. So far, this particular medication does not seem to pose much risk to pregnant women, though it should be pointed out that no conclusive studies exist that confirm risks to newborn infants.
There are no adequate studies on whether Phenazopyridine can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding your baby.
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication as drug interactions may occur when two or more drugs are being taken at the same time. Some medical conditions can interact with this medication. So if you have just given birth and are undergoing post-partum depression and taking medication for it, then you would need to inform your doctor regarding the medication and dosage before any other medicine could be prescribed for the urinary tract infection.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: This occurs mostly in men and is a genetic disorder that causes a person’s red blood cells to break down faster than the body can replenish. The end result is hemolytic anemia, which is manageable and does not require specific treatment unless necessary. However, such patients are prone to medications that cause oxidation, and drugs used to relieve urinary tract infection symptoms fall under this category, so inform your doctor regarding this condition as soon as possible.
Hepatitis: You need to inform your doctor if you are currently being treated for hepatitis since this can impede both the treatment for a urinary tract infection as well as the medications used to treat the later symptoms; it can actually further stress your body in its weakened state. Moreover, since your liver is already infected, it might be more susceptible to other forms of infection and may not be able to handle strong medications. So kindly consult your doctor at the earliest about your hepatitis and seek further advice on which medication to use when treating urinary tract infections.
Kidney disease: Undergoing dialysis or suffering from kidney disease is reason enough to give most doctors pause when prescribing medications to treat your health conditions, because your kidneys are already under stress and may not be able to process the new medications effectively. They could also further impair your kidneys’ functioning, so kindly consult your physician and seek additional advice before opting to treat a urinary infection.
Discard any leftover medication once you have completed treatment for your current infection.
Recommended dosage for relieving pain, burning, and discomfort in the urinary tract is as follows:
Adults and teenagers—200 milligrams three times a day.
Children—Dosage is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 4 mg per kilogram (about 1.8 mg per pound) of body weight three times a day.
If you miss a dose of medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is near the time for your next dose, skip the missed one and start again on your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. You usually take the medication after meals, so make sure that you take it at regular intervals. For fast and immediate relief, you should follow the regimen without missing a dosage.
Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications. Make sure that you are aware of all the side effects associated with the medication, and for additional queries, consult your physician as soon as possible.
4 Precautions to take
Check with your doctor if your symptoms have not improved or have worsened. Since urinary tract infections are also caused by other health conditions, it is important that you contact your doctor if the symptoms have not lessened, or have grown worse. Your doctor may suggest a complete checkup to rule out other health complications, so you should schedule one at the earliest availability.
Your urine and/or stools may turn a reddish-orange color, but it will go away after you stop taking the medication. The time for your urine to return to normal color depends on your dosage, period of treatment, etc.
This medication may cause staining or discoloration of contact lenses. For that reason, it is not advisable for some patients to wear soft contact lenses while being treated with this medicine.
For a diabetic patient, it is important to know that this medication may cause false test results with urine sugar tests and urine ketone tests. Discuss this matter with your doctor if you have any questions.
Tell your doctor if you are using this medicine before undergoing any kind of surgery or medical procedure.
5 Potential side effects
If any of the following side effects occur, check with your doctor right away:
Blue or blue-purple coloring of the skin: If your skin starts to display a blue or bluish-purple hue, contact your doctor right away.
Fever and confusion: This medication can cause you to develop high temperature coupled with periods of confusion and loss of concentration. If you are starting to display such symptoms while taking this medication, it means your body has developed sensitivity to it. Consult your physician so that they can prescribe an alternative course of treatment.
Shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing, or trouble breathing: If you are experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, or other respiratory disorders after taking this medication, you need to contact your doctor right away. Either you are allergic to the medicines prescribed or you are undergoing treatment for another health condition and those medications are interacting with the ones prescribed for your urinary tract infection.
Skin rash: If your skin starts to develop a rash or hives, it means you are allergic to the current medicines prescribed for your urinary tract infection. Kindly consult your physician for immediate relief.
Sudden decrease in the amount of urine: If your urine output has decreased since you began taking the medication, you need to consult your physician. A decreased output of urine could be on account of several reasons and a closer consultation with a specialist should help to identify the main issue and take corrective measures for it.
Swelling of face, fingers, feet, and/or lower legs: If your legs, face, feet, or other extremities swell up after taking this medication, you need to inform your doctor immediately as this can impair your movements.
Unusual tiredness or weakness: If you experience fatigue or listlessness while taking this medication, it could be caused by low red blood cell count or other reasons, but it could also be due to one of the side effects of the medication used to treat urinary infections. If this occurs, consult your physician and determine if a change in medication will cause the side effect to disappear.
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