Pregnancy Warnings

Can I Take AZO Pills While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

AZO pill is a medication that contains Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride as the active ingredient. AZO pills are used for the symptomatic relief of pain, burning, urgency, frequency, and other discomforts arising from irritation of the lower urinary tract mucosa caused by infection, trauma, surgery, endoscopic procedures, or the passage of sounds or catheters. The use of AZO pills for the relief of symptoms should not delay definitive diagnosis and treatment of causative conditions. Because it provides only symptomatic relief, prompt appropriate treatment of the cause of the pain must be instituted and AZO pills should be discontinued when symptoms are controlled.

The analgesic action may reduce or eliminate the need for systemic analgesics or narcotics. It is, however, compatible with antibacterial therapy and can help to relieve pain and discomfort during the interval before antibacterial therapy controls the infection. Treatment of a urinary tract infection with AZO pills should not exceed two days because there is a lack of evidence that the combined administration of AZO pills and an antibacterial provides greater benefit than administration of the antibacterial alone after two days.

Inactive ingredients in AZO pills:  carnauba wax, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, pregelatinized corn starch. May also contain corn starch.

How to use Azo pill

Take this medication by mouth, usually 3 times daily after meals or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking this medication along with antibiotics for symptoms related to a urinary tract infection, or are self-treating, do not take it for more than 2 days without talking to your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Can You Take AZO Pills While Breastfeeding
A breastfeeding woman

Can I take AZO pills while pregnant or breastfeeding?

No, AZO products, such as AZO Urinary Pain Relief, contain an active ingredient called phenazopyridine. It is generally recommended to avoid using phenazopyridine during the first trimester of pregnancy unless specifically prescribed by a healthcare professional. During the later stages of pregnancy, it may be used with caution under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s important to note that medications and substances can be transferred to breast milk. Phenazopyridine is excreted in breast milk, and its safety during breastfeeding is not well established. As with pregnancy, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before using AZO pills while breastfeeding. The safety of AZO pills (Phenazopyridine) is not established in infants or during breastfeeding. Because it can cause the following conditions:

Methemoglobinemia: a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin is produced. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells (RBCs) that carries and distributes oxygen to the body. Methemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin.

Sulfhemoglobinemia: a rare condition in which a sulfur atom oxidizes the heme moiety in hemoglobin, making the hemoglobin incapable of carrying oxygen and leading to hypoxia and cyanosis.

Hemolytic anemia: a disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made. The destruction of red blood cells is called hemolysis. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. If you have a lower-than-normal amount of red blood cells, you have anemia.

AZO pills should be avoided while breastfeeding, especially with an infant under 1 month of age or with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

Your healthcare provider will consider your individual health, the stage of your pregnancy or breastfeeding, and the potential risks and benefits of using AZO pills. They can provide personalized advice and help you make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.

How long does AZO stay in breastmilk?

Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride the active ingredient in AZO pills may stay in your system for up to 24 hours. AZO pills should be avoided while breastfeeding, especially with an infant under 1 month of age or with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

What are the side effects of AZO pills?

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 pills 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.


Do not share this medication with others. This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not take it later for another pain-related condition of the urinary tract unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in those cases.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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