Wednesday, November 21, 2012

AZO for UTI's

If you have ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know some of the major symptoms:

  • burning when you urinate
  • pain with urination
  • feeling like you have to urinate right away (almost like you are not going to make it to the bathroom in time, aka "urgency")
  • feeling like you have to run back to the bathroom to urinate again, even if you just urinated 2 minutes ago
  • many trips to the bathroom to urinate (frequency).  

It can be very uncomfortable.

The advice used to be drink plenty of cranberry juice until you could get to a doctor.

We have had the prescription drug Pyridium (Phenazopyridine) to treat the symptoms of a UTI for years.  But until this summer, I never knew that there was an over the counter version/strength of Pyridium available.  It's name is AZO.   Who knew???  You can buy it at any drugstore chain.

I want to be VERY clear here.  Pyridium treats the symptoms, but not the actual infection itself.  So, you still need an antibiotic to treat the actual infection itself.  You still need to get the prescription for that from your doctor.  But in real life, it might take a few days to get a doctor's appointment and AZO can help you get some relief until you get the prescription for an antibiotic.  It helps make you a little more comfortable and gets you over the hump until the antibiotic kicks in and starts doing its' thing.

Packaging says not to take it for more than 2 days.  This is pretty reasonable. You would want to start actually treating the infection within 2 days of onset of symptoms.

Be will make your urine bright orange, so just be prepared for that.  It can stain your clothing.

If you have soft contact lenses, you should not wear them while on AZO as it can stain your contact lenses.

Don't take AZO if you have known kidney issues or allergies to Phenazopyridine.

But, it is a great short term over the counter drug to give you some relief until you can get to the doctor.

Cancer patients in active treatment?  Do not wait 2 days, you need to check your temperature and get to your doctor and start antibiotics ASAP. 

This advice is to help provide a little short term relief for those cancer survivors who are out of treatment, in follow up, who just have UTI symptoms .

Hope this helps!

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