The Phenazopyridine is an acidifying drug antiseptic, analgesic and which is used in urinary tract infections to help give a pH more acidic urine and soothe the discomfort caused by the same infection. Phenazopyridine is an azo dye derived from urine. It is not an antibiotic itself, but an antiseptic, local analgesic and acidifier.Its mechanism of action against pain and burning takes advantage of the fact that paracetamol is one of its metabolites , and it acts locally on the mucosa that lines the urinary tract. Phenazopyridine has antiseptic and acidifying properties for the urine, which is why it is used to help reduce discomfort from urinary infections.It should be noted that, by increasing the acidity of the urine, phenazopyridine effectively fights some gram-negative bacteria by preventing them from having the appropriate medium to grow and reproduce. Despite this, this drug is not an antibiotic . Phenazopyridine also helps decrease the frequency and urge to urinate.

What is phenazopyridine for?

Phenazopyridine, by having analgesic, antiseptic and acidifying effects on the urine, helps to reduce the discomfort caused by urinary infections, by medical treatments in the urinary tract, by performing medical tests on them, by surgeries, malformations and injuries in the urinary system.

Generally, this drug is sold in 100mg pill forms. It is considered a complementary medicine and not part of the main treatment for urinary tract infections. It is useful in cases of frequent urination or constant urge to urinate , but it does not control urine leakage or incontinence.

It serves to:

  • Fight urinary discomfort
  • Treat urinary infections
  • Medical examinations and post-surgical treatment
  • Treat urinary tract injuries or problems

Fight urinary discomfort

Phenazopyridine is a drug in charge of treating situations and conditions such as:

  • Dysuria (difficulty urinating)
  • Cystitis (inflammation in the bladder)
  • Urethritis (inflammation in the urethra)
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Uretrotrigonitis
  • Pielitis
  • Injuries
  • Tratamiento postquirurgo
  • Medical exams
  • Urinary tract disorders

Phenazopyridine, by acidifying urine, fights microorganisms.

Treat urinary infections

Phenazopyridine is commonly used as a complement to therapies against urinary infections, both in chronic and mild infections, and in those that result from some operations or injuries.

Phenazopyridine is not properly an antibiotic, but is an analgesic with acidifying and slightly microbicidal properties, to combat certain gram-negative bacteria.

This drug is used in infections as common as cystitis, pyelonephritis, urethritis, urethrotrigonitis, and sometimes in other genital infections that affect the urinary tract.

It does not fight infections as such, but is generally accompanied by the antibiotic treatment corresponding to each disease .

Medical examinations and post-surgical treatment

Phenazopyridine, being an antiseptic, helps clean the urinary tract from the inside . Being acidifying, it reduces the pH value of the mucosa of the urinary tract, so it helps to prevent bacteria that need a different environment from developing.

The pain-relieving effects of phenazopyridine help prevent symptoms such as itching, burning, urge to urinate, and excessive frequency of urination. The administration of this drug is recommended after an operation on the urinary tract, as it reduces the discomfort caused by wounds or injuries.

Treat urinary tract injuries or problems

There are injuries that can cause urinary problems. Situations such as dysuria, persistent sense of urgency or burning can be indicators of the presence of lesions. Therefore, also in these cases, the use of phenazopyridine is recommended.

Contraindications of phenazopyridine

Phenazopyridine should be administered under medical supervision or completely avoided in the case of people such as:

  • Patients with liver failure
  • Patients with kidney failure
  • Glomerulonephritis patients
  • Patients with oliguria (minimal amounts of urine)
  • Patients with glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency disorders
  • Pregnant women
  • Little girls and boys

Side effects of phenazopyridine

In general, phenazopyridine is well tolerated by most patients, although it causes side effects such as:

  • Metahemoglobinemia
  • Red-orange discoloration of urine

The methemoglobinemia is a disease where there is an excess of methemoglobin in the blood. This substance is a chemical form of hemoglobin that absorbs oxygen, which causes it to be retained and will make it difficult for it to spread to other tissues, to oxygenate them.

The most characteristic side effect of phenazopyridine is the red-orange coloration of the urine, and sometimes of the skin or eyes . In general, this coloration only lasts while the patient is in treatment, but when it occurs on the skin or eyes, it could be an overdose, and it is better to stop the medicine and go to the doctor.

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.



Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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