Pyridium long term use


How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Phenazopyridine belongs to the class of medications called urinary tract analgesics. It is used for the relief of burning, pain, frequent urge to urinate, and other discomforts associated with irritation or infection of the urinary tract. It is not an antibiotic and therefore will not cure an infection. Phenazopyridine may be used at the same time as an antibiotic.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Pyridium is no longer available in Canada.The information in this article may not be up-to-date. For additional information about this medication, please contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How should I use this medication?

The usual adult dose of phenazopyridine is 200 mg taken 3 times daily, after meals to reduce the chance of stomach upset. Phenazopyridine should not be used for more than 2 days. If the symptoms do not improve within this time or worsen at any time, talk with your doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take phenazopyridine if you:

  • are allergic to phenazopyridine or any ingredients of the medication
  • have reduced kidney function
  • have liver disease

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • itching of the skin
  • orange or red colour of the urine or feces
  • staining of contact lenses (orange or red)
  • stomach cramps or pain

Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • blue or blue-purple colour of skin
  • fever and confusion
  • skin rash
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight gain

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • shortness of breath, tightness in chest, wheezing, or troubled breathing
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.

Discoloration of body fluids: Phenazopyridine produces an orange-to-red colour in the urine and feces, and may cause staining. Phenazopyridine may cause discoloration of other body fluids and staining of contact lenses has been reported.

If the medication has been broken or held in the mouth before swallowing, it may cause tooth discoloration. If your skin or eyes turn a yellowish colour, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately.

Laboratory tests: This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests. If you are having lab tests done, make sure your doctor knows that you take this medication.

Length of treatment: Take phenazopyridine for only 2 days. If symptoms persist beyond 2 days, contact your doctor.

Medical conditions: If you have an inherited condition called G-6-PD deficiency, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if phenazopyridine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for seniors.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between phenazopyridine and ciprofloxacin.

If you are taking ciprofloxacin, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

URISTAT® Pain Relief Tablets


Do not exceed recommended dosage


  • Do not take if you have previously exhibited hypersensitivity to phenazopyridine HCl or if you have kidney trouble. Remember that advanced age is associated with declining kidney function. Discontinue therapy if you experience a yellowish tinge of the skin or eyes. This may indicate accumulation due to impaired kidney or liver function.
  • As with any drug, if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, seek the advice of a health professional before using the product.
  • If your symptoms persist, are severe, or you experience fever, chills, back pain or bloody urine see your doctor promptly. You may have a serious condition that requires different treatment.
  • Phenazopyridine HCl may cause gastrointestinal upset in some people. Take with or after meals to reduce gastric upset and discontinue use if symptoms occur.
  • This product may stain soft contact lenses.
  • Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children and do not administer to children under the age of 12 unless directed by a physician.
  • In case of accidental overdose, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately. 1-800-222-1222
  • Carcinogenesis: Long-term administration of phenazopyridine HCl has induced neoplasia in rats (large intestine) and mice (liver). Although no association between phenazopyridine HCl and human neoplasia has been reported, adequate epidemiological studies along these lines have not been conducted.

Summit Medical Group Web Site

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a type of urinary tract infection.

What is the cause?

Bacteria are the usual cause of a bladder infection. Normally there should be no bacteria in the urinary tract. Bacteria that cause UTI often spread from the rectum or vagina to the urethra and then up into the bladder.

Women are more likely to have bladder infections than men because their urethra is shorter. (The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder to outside the body.) The short urethra makes it easier for bacteria from the anus (rectal area) or the genital area to reach the bladder. This can happen during sex. Young women often have bladder infections when they have just started being sexually active.

Bacteria may grow in the urine if the flow of urine is blocked. For example, when a woman is pregnant, pressure from the baby can cause this problem. In men, an enlarged prostate may cause a blockage. Kidney stones can also cause blockage and infections.

If you have recently had a urinary catheter (for example, during surgery) or if you have to use a catheter every day, you are more likely to get bladder infections.

What are the symptoms?

Possible symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • Urinating more often
  • Feeling an urgent need to urinate
  • Pain or discomfort (burning) when you urinate
  • A crampy pain or discomfort in the lower belly or sometimes in the back
  • Urine that smells bad
  • Urine that looks cloudy, reddish, or bloody
  • Leaking of urine
  • Fever and sometimes chills

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine you. A sample of your urine may be tested for bacteria and pus. More tests may be done if you have had several infections. Men may have more tests because bladder infections are less common in men. The additional tests can check for other possible causes of the infection. For example, you may have X-rays to look for kidney stones.

How is it treated?

Bladder infection is a common problem that can usually be treated easily. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. It’s important to prevent the spread of infection to your kidneys.

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe Pyridium. This medicine helps relieve burning and discomfort while you wait for the antibiotic to treat the infection. Pyridium will turn your urine orange and may stain your clothing.

In some cases you may need to spend a day or two in the hospital and get antibiotics by vein (IV). This is especially likely if your provider thinks you may have a kidney infection.

How long will the effects last?

Prompt treatment of a bladder infection with antibiotics usually relieves the symptoms in 1 to 2 days. If your infection has been causing symptoms for several days before treatment or if you are having fever, you may need several days to feel better.

If the infection is not treated, it could spread to the kidneys, make you very sick, and permanently damage the kidneys. It’s possible for a bladder or kidney infection to spread to the blood and become life-threatening, especially in older adults. This is why it’s important to get prompt treatment for bladder infections.

How can I take care of myself?

  • Take the antibiotic medicine for as long as your healthcare provider prescribes, even when you feel better. Don’t take medicine left over from previous prescriptions.
  • If your provider prescribed Pyridium, use it to feel better while you are waiting for the antibiotic to work.
  • Drink more fluids, especially water, than you usually do. It will help flush the bacteria from your system.
  • If you have a fever:
    • Ask your healthcare provider if you should take aspirin or acetaminophen for the fever.
      • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days for any reason.
      • Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto-Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
    • Keep a daily record of your temperature.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Ask your provider:
    • How and when you will hear your test results
    • How long it will take to recover
    • What activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
    • How to take care of yourself at home
    • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them
  • Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.

How can I help prevent bladder infection?

You may help prevent bladder infection if you:

  • Drink lots of fluids every day.
  • Drink a glass of cranberry juice each day. The juice should be real cranberry juice, not a beverage that includes some cranberry juice but also other types of juice or liquids.
  • Don’t wait to go to the bathroom if you feel the need to urinate.
  • Urinate soon after sex.
  • Keep your genital area clean. Never have vaginal sex after anal sex.
  • Empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
  • Don’t wear a wet bathing suit for long periods of time.

Also, if you are a woman:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider if you often have bladder infections. You may need tests to find out why you have so many bladder infections. Keep a journal to see if your infections are related to sexual activity. If they do tend to happen after sex, your provider may prescribe medicine for you to take after sex or every day to help prevent infection.
  • Don’t use irritating cosmetics or chemicals in the area of the vagina and urethra. This includes, for example, strong soaps, feminine hygiene sprays or douches, and scented napkins or panty liners.
  • Keep the vaginal area clean. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Be sure to wash the genital area gently each time you bathe or shower. However, use only mild, unscented soap.
  • Wear underwear that is all cotton or has a cotton crotch. Pantyhose should also have a cotton crotch. Cotton allows better air circulation than nylon. Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
  • During pregnancy, tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of urinary tract problems. Your provider may order tests for bacteria in your urine to catch an infection before you have symptoms.
  • If you have stopped having your periods because of menopause and are not taking estrogen, your provider might suggest a vaginal cream. Sometimes this cream helps prevent bladder infections.

Men should always wash their penis during baths or showers. Men who are not circumcised should gently pull back the foreskin and wash the tip of the penis when they take a bath or shower.

Pyridium Side Effects

Generic Name: phenazopyridine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 20, 2018.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Interactions
  • More

Note: This document contains side effect information about phenazopyridine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Pyridium.

For the Consumer

Applies to phenazopyridine: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, phenazopyridine (the active ingredient contained in Pyridium) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking phenazopyridine:


  • Blue or blue-purple color of skin
  • fever and confusion
  • shortness of breath, tightness in chest, wheezing, or troubled breathing
  • skin rash
  • sudden decrease in the amount of urine
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet, and/or lower legs
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of phenazopyridine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common or rare

  • Dizziness
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • itching of the skin
  • stomach cramps or pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to phenazopyridine: compounding powder, oral tablet

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache


Frequency not reported: Rash, pruritus


Frequency not reported: Upset stomach


Frequency not reported: Orange to red discoloration of the urine


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic-like reaction


Frequency not reported: Staining of contact lenses

1. “Product Information. Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride (phenazopyridine).” Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Glasgow, KY.

2. “Product Information. AZO Urinary Pain Relief Max Strength (phenazopyridine).” i-Health, Inc, Cromwell, CT.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

Related questions

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

Medical Disclaimer

More about Pyridium (phenazopyridine)

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  • Drug class: miscellaneous genitourinary tract agents

Consumer resources

  • Pyridium
  • Pyridium (Advanced Reading)

Other brands: Azo Urinary Pain Relief, Azo-Standard, Uristat, Baridium, … +6 more

Professional resources

  • Pyridium (FDA)
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Related treatment guides

  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Dysuria

Safety and Efficacy of Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride Tablets, USP 200 mg as an Analgesic for Short-Term Treatment in Female Subjects Suffering From Moderate-to-Severe Pain and Burning Upon Urination Associated With Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (uUTI)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Is willing and able to provide and understand written informed consent for the study.
  • Is a female 18 years of age or older.
  • Has a clinical diagnosis of uncomplicated urinary tract infection (uUTI).
  • Has a reported history indicating a diagnosis of cystitis or urethritis.
  • Has a positive urine dipstick test showing the presence of nitrate or leukocyte esterase.
  • Has moderate to severe pain (score of 4 to 10 inclusive on the NRS) and burning (score of 4-10, inclusive on the NRS) upon urination.
  • Is willing and able to understand and comply with the requirements of the study.
  • Each female subject of childbearing potential (excluding women who are surgically sterilized or postmenopausal for at least 2 years) must have a negative urine pregnancy test at Screening and must be willing to use an acceptable form of birth control during the study. For the purpose of this trial, the following are considered acceptable methods of birth control: oral contraceptives, contraceptive patches, contraceptive implant, vaginal contraceptive, double barrier methods (eg, condom and spermicide), contraceptive injection (Depo-provera®), intrauterine device (IUD), hormonal IUD (Mirena®), and abstinence with a documented second acceptable method of birth control should the subject become sexually active.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding during the study.
  • Has a diagnosis of a urinary tract or kidney disorder that is not a uUTI. Has a diagnosis of pyelonephritis (kidney infections when lower uUTI spreads to the upper tract).
  • Has taken an analgesic within 1 day prior to Visit 1.
  • Has taken any systemic anti-infectives within 7 days prior to Visit 1.
  • Has a history of G-6-PD deficiency or hemolytic anemia.
  • Has a known history of anatomical genitourinary (GU) anomalies or GU surgery within 6 months prior to Visit 1.
  • Has a chronic infection of the urinary tract requiring an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), ultrasound, or cystoscopy.
  • Is unable to comprehend the language of the informed consent and the self-evaluation scales.
  • Has serious acute illness (e.g., pneumonia) or an untreated or unstable medical illness that would likely interfere with assessments of uUTI.
  • Has received an investigational medication as part of a drug trial within 3 months prior to Visit 1.
  • Is currently participating in any other clinical study.
  • Has a history of severe drug allergy or hypersensitivity, including to phenazopyridine HCl or to any component of the study medications.
  • Consumes excessive amounts of alcohol, abuses drugs, or has any condition that would compromise compliance with this protocol.
  • Previous participation in this study.
  • Any clinically significant condition or situation, that in the opinion of the Investigator would interfere with the study evaluations or optimal participation in the study.
  • Prior use of phenazopyridine product within 3 years of enrollment.
  • Is an employee or direct relative of the study site or Investigator.

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