Azo urinary pain relief side effects

What Causes Painful Urination?

Painful urination is a common sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI can be the result of a bacterial infection. It can also be due to inflammation of the urinary tract.

The urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys make up your urinary tract. The uretersare tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Inflammation in any of these organs can cause pain during urination.

According to the Mayo Clinic, women are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than men. This is because the urethra is shorter in women than it is in men. A shorter urethra means that bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to reach the bladder. Women who are pregnant or menopausal also have an increased risk of developing urinary tract infections.

Other medical conditions can cause painful urination in men and women.

Men may experience painful urination due to prostatitis. This condition is the inflammation of the prostate gland. It’s a primary cause of urinary burning, stinging, and discomfort.

You may also experience pain when urinating if you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Some STIs that may cause painful urination include genital herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. It’s important to be screened for these infections, especially because they don’t always have symptoms.

Certain sexual practices will put you at a higher risk for STIs, such as having sex without a condom, or sex with multiple partners. Anyone who is sexually active should get tested for STIs.

Another cause of painful urination is cystitis, or the inflammation of the bladder’s lining. Interstitial cystitis (IC) is also known as painful bladder syndrome. It’s the most common type of cystitis.

Symptoms of IC include pain and tenderness in the bladder and pelvic region. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), doctors don’t know what causes IC.

In some cases, radiation therapy can cause bladder and urinary pain. This condition is known as radiation cystitis.

You may have difficulty urinating comfortably if you have kidney stones. Kidney stonesare masses of hardened material located in the kidneys.

Sometimes painful urination isn’t due to an infection. It can also be due to products that you use in the genital regions. Soaps, lotions, and bubble baths can irritate vaginal tissues. Dyes in laundry detergents and other toiletry products can also cause irritation and lead to painful urination.

Cystitis: self-care

  • General Information
  • See Your Pharmacist or Medical Professional
  • Treatment Tips
  • Treatment Options
  • More Information

General Information

Cystitis is an infection of the urinary tract which causes the bladder to become inflamed. Urinary tract infections commonly affect women more than men because it is easier for bacteria to travel up the female urinary tract to the bladder.

Cystitis is more common in sexually active women, pregnant women, and women with undiagnosed diabetes or after menopause.

Symptoms of cystitis can appear suddenly, but not all symptoms may be present. They commonly include:

  • smelly, dark or cloudy urine
  • burning or stinging while urinating, because bacteria make urine more acidic
  • the need to go to the toilet more often or at night, or you might urinate in small amounts
  • lower back pain, or pain when you finish urinating

Cystitis is painful and annoying but is usually treated successfully. It can be more serious if the infection travels to the kidneys or pelvis and causes inflammation in those areas. In such cases you may experience fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.

See Your Pharmacist or Medical Professional

  • if you have not had cystitis before
  • if there is blood or pus in your urine
  • if you have a vaginal discharge
  • if you have fever, chills, nausea, vomiting or pain
  • if you suspect your child has cystitis
  • if you are a man, an older woman or a child
  • if you are pregnant
  • if your symptoms have lasted more than two or three days
  • if you have had cystitis more than three times in one year
  • if you are taking medication for cystitis and it has not worked
  • if you do not empty your bladder properly when you go to the toilet
  • if you are taking medication for cystitis and you experience side effects
  • if you are taking supplements (e.g. potassium), other medications, or have another medical condition (e.g. diabetes)
  • if you are breastfeeding, as some medicines may not be suitable
  • if you have allergies to any medicines
  • if your immune system is compromised or suppressed for any reason

Treatment Tips

  • cystitis may resolve in a few days with simple treatments, but you may also require antibiotics to treat the infection
  • if you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure you finish taking the course, even if you feel better before you have taken them all
  • it is important to drink plenty of fluids to flush out your bladder
  • avoid drinks that can dehydrate, such as alcohol or caffeine, as these can concentrate the urine, making it easier for bacteria to multiply
  • some people are also affected by acidic drinks, such as juice and fizzy drinks, or spicy food
  • rest and a hot water bottle placed on your stomach, over clothing, may provide some relief

Tips to prevent cystitis recurring:

  • always urinate when you feel the need; never ‘hold on’ and always empty your bladder fully
  • wipe from ‘front to back’ with toilet paper; it is best to blot with toilet paper and use each piece only once
  • wear loose-fitting cotton underpants and trousers. Tight fitting clothing can make your genital area moist, which encourages bacterial growth
  • use a water-based lubricant during sex to prevent irritation if the vaginal area is dry; do not use spermicides as they can cause irritation
  • wash and dry yourself before and after sex, and go to the toilet (urinate) after sex
  • avoid using vaginal deodorants, soaps, bubble baths and other toiletries that could irritate your genital area
  • taking cranberry supplements has been proven to help prevent cystitis from recurring; it is thought that they stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract surface. They should be avoided in pregnancy and by people taking warfarin

Treatment Options

Urinary alkalinisers (to relieve burning)

  • urinary alkalinisers make urine less acidic and relieve the ‘burning’ feeling when you go to the toilet
  • they are available as granules or powder, to be dissolved in a glass of water and drunk up to four times a day
  • people with kidney problems or those taking medicines for blood pressure or heart conditions should check with their pharmacist before taking urinary alkalinisers

Urinary antiseptic

methenamine (hexamine) hippurate (Hiprex Tablets)

  • methenamine (hexamine) hippurate is an antibacterial antiseptic used to treat and prevent urinary tract infections. It only works when your urine is acidic, which generally occurs in bladder infections.

Pain relief

packets of 20 or fewer, e.g. paracetamol

larger pack sizes, e.g. paracetamol

  • paracetamol can be taken to provide pain relief (if needed). It is a safe choice for most people but it is important not to take more than the recommended dose. Paracetamol is an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies so be careful not to double dose. The maximum daily dose for an adult is 4 g (4000 mg), and no more than 1 g (1000 mg) every four hours
  • avoid using aspirin for cystitis
  • if you are taking other medications or you have other medical conditions, check with your pharmacist for individualised advice on pain relief


  • sometimes a short course of antibiotics is needed to treat the bacterial infection. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics for your cystitis, make sure you finish taking the full course.
  • some antibiotics can interact with food or other drugs, so talk to your pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines. Some antibiotics used for the treatment of cystitis should not be used with urinary alkalinisers; check with the pharmacist. Not all antibiotics are suitable to take during pregnancy.
  • although many antibiotics are well tolerated, some can have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, itch, rash, heartburn, abdominal pain, dizziness and sensitivity to the sun.
  • if you are prescribed antibiotics to be taken once daily, they will work better if you take them after emptying your bladder, just before going to bed.

More Information

Availability of medicines

  • GENERAL SALE available through pharmacies and possibly other retail outlets.
  • PHARMACY ONLY available for sale through pharmacies only.
  • PHARMACIST ONLY may only be sold by a pharmacist.
  • PRESCRIPTION ONLY available only with a prescription from your doctor or other health professional.

Search myDr for Consumer Medicine Information

Is that Burning Sensation a Urinary Tract Infection?

Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis

If you think you might have a UTI, don’t worry. Diagnosing one just requires a simple urinalysis. You urinate into a cup, and your doctor examines the urine for signs of infection. The standard course of treatment is three to five days of antibiotics.

If your infections keep coming back, your doctor will probably order a urine culture, a specific test for UTIs. A culture identifies the bacteria causing your infection so your doctor can choose the most effective antibiotic to treat it.

Causes and Risk Factors of UTIs

Common causes of urinary tract infection in women include:

  • Sexual activity : “Your method of birth control, or even the act of intercourse itself, can bring bacteria into the urinary tract,” says Fashokun. A diaphragm can carry bacteria, while spermicide can change the bacterial makeup of the vagina.
  • Immune system suppression : “Any condition that weakens the immune system lessens the body’s defense to bacteria,” says Fashokun.
  • Voiding dysfunction : Conditions that make it hard to completely empty the bladder can raise the risk of a urinary tract infection. These include spinal cord injury or neuropathy , a condition that affects nerve function.
  • Menopause : Fashokun explains that during menopause , your body’s pH levels change, which alters the vagina’s bacterial flora (the community of microorganisms living in the vagina). This change in bacterial makeup increases your risk of UTI.

How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

UTIs are unpleasant enough that most women will try anything to avoid getting one. Fashokun discusses some simple lifestyle changes that might help you prevent UTIs. These steps help reduce the chance of bacteria entering the urinary tract, which is the main cause of UTIs. Make sure to:

  • Empty your bladder more often: Don’t hold it when you feel the urge to go. Fashokun says that you should empty your bladder at least every four hours during the day. And urinating after intercourse can help wash bacteria away from the urethral opening.
  • Practice safer wiping and cleaning: Wiping from front to back helps avoid bacterial contamination. Avoid irritating feminine products with dyes, fragrances and parabens. Instead, wash with water whenever possible. “And don’t douche ever, unless a doctor says to,” says Fashokun.
  • Wear loose clothing: Women with repeated urinary tract infections should avoid tight-fitting clothes, including thongs. Cotton underwear lets the skin breathe more easily than synthetic fabrics like polyester. If you can, try to have a few hours a day where you don’t wear underwear at all.
  • Switch your sanitary supplies: Tampons might be a better choice if you have recurrent UTIs because they keep the bladder opening drier than pads. “The pads keep bacteria right up against your urethra,” Fashokun says. Using a tampon helps you stay dry, which limits the growth of the bacteria that cause UTIs. Women who use incontinence pads are also at increased risk of infection. If you do wear pads, be sure to change them often.
  • Try a different birth control: If you have repeated urinary tract infections, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm and spermicide, including spermicidal condoms. Talk to your doctor about other birth control options that can lower your risk for UTIs.

Does Cranberry Juice Help Prevent UTIs?

You’ve probably reached for a bottle of cranberry juice or popped a few cranberry tablets to ward off a UTI. Though cranberry is a popular home remedy, the scientific jury is still out on it, Fashokun says: “We don’t have a lot of evidence that it works, but many patients find it helpful.”

Fashokun says if you want to try it, take cranberry tablets rather than sugary cranberry juice. However, before taking any supplements, including cranberry tablets, talk to your doctor. These tablets may interact with other medications you are taking, such as blood thinners.

Treating UTIs

Symptoms of urinary tract infection may not always be as severe as nausea or vomiting, so it’s important to pay attention to your own body and intuition. Fashokun emphasizes that you should see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of UTI, especially pelvic pain, urinary leakage, painful urination or a frequent urge to go. A doctor can confirm a diagnosis and rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

Don’t just suffer through a UTI and wait for it to go away on its own. Talk to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment so you can feel better. Getting treatment for UTIs is not just about feeling better now—it’s important to treat it so you don’t develop a more serious infection. So if you’re experiencing any changes in urination or unexplained pelvic pain, see your doctor. With the right treatment, you’ll be back to your active life in a few short days.

Medically reviewed by on Apr 15, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Interactions
  • Pregnancy
  • More

What is AZO Urinary Pain Relief?

AZO Urinary Pain Relief is a pain reliever that affects the lower part of your urinary tract (bladder and urethra).

AZO Urinary Pain Relief is used to treat urinary symptoms such as pain or burning, increased urination, and increased urge to urinate. These symptoms can be caused by infection, injury, surgery, catheter, or other conditions that irritate the bladder.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief will treat urinary symptoms, but this medication will not treat a urinary tract infection.. Take any antibiotic that your doctor prescribes to treat an infection.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use AZO Urinary Pain Relief if you have kidney disease.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use AZO Urinary Pain Relief if you are allergic to it, or if you have kidney disease.

To make sure AZO Urinary Pain Relief is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • diabetes; or

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

FDA pregnancy category B. AZO Urinary Pain Relief is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not use AZO Urinary Pain Relief without a doctor’s advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether phenazopyridine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take AZO Urinary Pain Relief?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take AZO Urinary Pain Relief after meals.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking AZO Urinary Pain Relief.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief will most likely darken the color of your urine to an orange or red color. This is a normal effect and is not harmful. Darkened urine may also cause stains to your underwear that may be permanent.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief can also permanently stain soft contact lenses, and you should not wear them while taking this medicine.

Do not use AZO Urinary Pain Relief for longer than 2 days unless your doctor has told you to.

This medication can cause unusual results with urine tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using AZO Urinary Pain Relief.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking AZO Urinary Pain Relief?

Do not use this medication while wearing soft contact lenses. AZO Urinary Pain Relief can permanently discolor soft contact lenses.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using AZO Urinary Pain Relief and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • confusion, loss of appetite, pain in your side or lower back;

  • fever, pale or yellowed skin, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting; or

  • blue or purple appearance of your skin.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness; or

  • upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect AZO Urinary Pain Relief?

Other drugs may interact with phenazopyridine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.05.

Related questions

  • Why do you not take phenazopyridine for more than two days?

Medical Disclaimer

More about Azo Urinary Pain Relief (phenazopyridine)

  • Side Effects
  • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
  • Dosage Information
  • Drug Interactions
  • En Español
  • 7 Reviews
  • Drug class: miscellaneous genitourinary tract agents

Consumer resources

  • AZO Urinary Pain Relief

Other brands: Pyridium, Azo-Standard, Uristat, Baridium, … +6 more

Professional resources

  • Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
  • … +1 more

Related treatment guides

  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Dysuria

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *