Drugs Q & A

What Happens If You Take Pyridium For More Than 2 Days?

Pyridium is a brand of phenazopyridine a medication used to relieve urinary tract pain, burning, irritation, and discomfort, as well as urgent and frequent urination caused by urinary tract infections, surgery, injury, or examination procedures. However, phenazopyridine is not an antibiotic; it does not cure infections.

How should this medicine be used?

Pyridium comes as a tablet or capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day after meals. Do not chew or crush the tablets as it may cause your teeth to become stained; swallow them whole with a full glass of water. You may stop taking this drug when pain and discomfort completely disappear. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Pyridium exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

How many hours apart should I take Pyridium?

Pyridium can be taken up to 3 times a day. Try to space the doses evenly throughout your waking hours to have consistent symptom relief. This could be anywhere from every 4 to 8 hours, depending on how long you are awake each day.

Does Pyridium get rid of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

No, Pyridium will not treat your infection. Most people need antibiotics to treat UTIs. Pyridium will only treat the uncomfortable symptoms caused by the infection. This is helpful while you wait for the antibiotic to kick in.

What Happens If You Take Pyridium For More Than 2 Days?

Apart from masking an infection of the urinary tract, a lot of things can go wrong when you take Pyridium for more than 2 days without talking to your healthcare provider. Studies have shown that Pyridium overdose can cause acute renal failure in addition to unusual results with urine tests. These problems are more common in people who have existing kidney problems or people taking more than recommended. Pyridium can stay in your system for up to 24 hours.

Pyridium can also permanently stain soft contact lenses, and you should not wear them while taking this medicine.

What are the side effects of Pyridium?

Pyridium may cause side effects. Your urine may turn red-orange or brown; this effect is harmless. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•        headache

•        dizziness

•        upset stomach

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

•        yellowing of the skin or eyes

•        fever

•        confusion

•        skin discoloration (blue to bluish-purple)

•        shortness of breath

•        skin rash

•        sudden decrease in the amount of urine

•        swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or legs

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).


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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