What is phenazopyridine-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Phenazopyridine is an oral urinary analgesic (pain relieving medication). It is available over-the-counter (without a prescription or OTC) in lower strengths, and with a prescription for higher strengths. It is used commonly to treat symptoms of pain, burning, urgency, frequency, and other symptoms associated with lower urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, phenazopyridine is thought to provide relief of symptoms of UTIs by acting as a local anesthetic on the lining of the urinary tract. Phenazopyridine is excreted in the urine and may cause urine to change to an orange or red color. Phenazopyridine does not have any antibacterial action and should not be used to treat UTIs. It is only used to provide relief of symptoms associated with UTIs.

What brand names are available for phenazopyridine-oral?

Baridium, Pyridium, Urinary Pain Relief

Is phenazopyridine-oral available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for phenazopyridine-oral?

Yes, and in OTC preparations

What are the uses for phenazopyridine-oral?

Phenazopyridine is used to provide relief of symptoms associated with lower urinary tract infections including urinary burning, pain, urgency, and frequency among others.

What are the side effects of phenazopyridine-oral?

Common side effects of phenazopyridine treatment affecting up to 10 percent of patients are:

Rare but serious side effects associated with phenazopyridine (occurring in <1%) include:

What is the dosage for phenazopyridine-oral?

The usual recommended adult dose of phenazopyridine is 100 to 200 mg three times daily after meals. Treatment should not exceed 2 days when used in-combination with an antibacterial agent. The maximum daily dose for adults is 600 mg.

Dose adjustment may be required for patients who have kidney disease. Phenazopyridine should not be used in patients whose creatinine clearance is less than 50 ml/min. Phenazopyridine should be administered every 8-16 hours in patients whose creatinine clearance is between 50-80 ml/min.

The usual recommended dose for children and adolescents is 4 mg/kg orally three times daily after meals. The child’s pediatric doctor should calculate the dose. Treatment should not exceed 2 days when used in-combination with an antibacterial agent.

Which drugs or supplements interact with phenazopyridine-oral?

: No clinical significant drug interactions have been reported with phenazopyridine use.

Bladder Infections: UTI Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Is phenazopyridine-oral safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

: Phenazopyridine is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category B (animal studies show no harm to fetuses but there are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women). Reproduction studies in rats at doses up to 50 mg/kg//day have shown no evidence of fetal harm. However, as with all drugs, phenazopyridine should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed.

It is not known if phenazopyridine is excreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about phenazopyridine-oral?

What preparations of phenazopyridine-oral are available?
  • OTC Oral tablets: 95 mg and 97.5 mg
  • Prescription oral tablets: 100 mg, 200 mg
How should I keep phenazopyridine-oral stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C and 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Keep phenazopyridine and all medications away from pets and children.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/5/2019


Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


FDA Prescribing Information.