What Is Phenazopyrid?


Urinary tract infections are generally caused by bacteria that gain access to the urinary tract via the urethra. These infections are generally not life threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable and lead to pain, a burning sensation upon urinating and other symptoms. In addition, a urinary tract infection, when left untreated, can move to the bladder, where it can cause permanent damage. Urinary tract infections are generally treated with an antibiotic as well as a medication to limit the symptoms.


Phenazopyrid, also known as phenazopyridine, is a medication that is sometimes used as a pain reliever. When it is ingested, it is absorbed by the digestive system but is not used by the body, which causes it to be excreted into the bladder. Once it is in the bladder, it is able to specifically relieve bladder pain by binding to some of the tissue in the wall of the bladder. The bladder is the only location where this medication has any effect.


Phenazopyridine is often used to help treat urinary tract infections. Phenazopyridine works to soothe the lining of the bladder, which can help relieve the pain, burning sensation, and the feeling of urgency for urination that can often occur as a result of urinary tract infections. This pain reliever does not actually treat the infection, only the symptoms.


Phenazopyrid is generally taken orally as a tablet. The tablet will contain 100 or 200 milligrams of the medication and will need to be taken three times a day with meals. This medication is usually only taken for two days, as longer treatments have not been shown to provide any additional benefit.


Phenazopyrid is a dye with a red color. When tablets of it are ingested, they are absorbed by the digestive system and are eventually excreted through the bladder. Once in the bladder, the dye binds to to the cells that line the bladder wall, also known as bladder mucosa cells, and have a pain-relieving effect. Approximately 65 percent of the phenazopyrid will make it to the bladder intact.

Phenazopyrid and Sulfamethoxazole

Since phenazopyrid will not cure the urinary tract infections, the medication is usually given in combination with the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole, which treats the bacteria causing the infection. This antibiotic will be given for four weeks generally, while the phenazopyrid will only be given for two days. The use of phenazopyrid speeds up the recovery time by helping to prevent additional irritation and inflammation early in the treatment.

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