Pyridium (phenazopyridine) is a pain reliever for the lower part of the urinary tract. It is used to treat pain, burning, increased urination, and increased urge to urinate in patients, including those with multiple sclerosis (MS) who experience urinary tract infections (UTI), catheter use, or other conditions that irritate the lower urinary tract.
Though prescribed for people with UTIs, Pyridium is not an antibiotic — it does not treat the actual infection and will only address the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. As a result, it is most often prescribed along with an antibiotic.
Its precise mode of action is unknown, but when excreted in the urine it promotes topical analgesia on the mucosa of the urinary tract, relieving pain, burning, urgency, and frequency.
How Phenazopyridine Works and Side-Effects
Phenazopyridine is available either in tablet or capsule form to be taken orally, 200 mg three times a day after meals. Unlike antibiotic prescriptions that are recommended to be completely finished even after symptoms are no longer present phenazopyridine may be stopped once pain and discomfort completely disappear.
Some of the side effects associated with phenazopyridine include headache, dizziness, stomach pain, upset stomach, or skin itching.
Phenazopyridine is available in the U.S. with a prescription only; it is available in Canada without a prescription. The medication is sold under several brand names, including Azo-Standard, Baridium, Nefrecil, Phenozodine, Prodium, Pyndate, Sedural, Uricalm, Uristat, Uropyrine, Urodine, and Urogesic.
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