Cystex vs Azo For UTI – Differences & Side Effects

Cystex Plus Urinary Pain Relief Tablets

It is the brand name of a combination of methenamine 162mg and sodium salicylate 162.5mg.

Mechanism of Action

This medication contains an antibacterial agent to help keep the infection from getting worse while you wait for your healthcare professional’s appointment. Plus, it eases the burning and pain caused by a urinary tract infection.

Inactive ingredients

Cellulose, benzoic acid, edible blank ink, croscarmellose sodium, FD&C yellow #6 lake, FD&C red #40 lake, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate copolymer, stearic acid, magnesium stearate, silica, triethyl citrate, and titanium dioxide.

Uses

This over-the-counter medication is used to help control the infection and prevent it from getting worse. It is also used to relieve the pain and burning discomfort associated with urinary tract infections.

A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of the urinary system — bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. UTIs are caused by microbes, like – bacteria overcoming the body’s defenses in the urinary tract.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of a UTI may include:

  • pelvic pain, especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone;
  • a strong, persistent urge to urinate;
  • strong-smelling urine;
  • a burning sensation when urinating;
  • urine which appears red, bright pink or cola-colored;
  • urine which appears cloudy;
  • passing frequent, small amounts of urine.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 2 tablets with a full glass of water 3 times per day.

Note – the dosage has not been established in patients under 12 years old.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach cramps;
  • feeling like throwing up;
  • heartburn;
  • irritation of the stomach or intestines;
  • indigestion.
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Rare side effects may include:

  • bronchospasm;
  • hives;
  • anemia;
  • itching;
  • redness of the skin;
  • bloody urine;
  • trouble breathing;
  • wheezing;
  • hemolytic anemia;
  • stomach or intestinal ulcer;
  • inflammation of the skin caused by an allergy.

Contraindications

To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor:

  • if you have ulcers or bleeding problems;
  • if you have an upset stomach, heartburn, or stomach pain;
  • if you are allergic to salicylates;
  • if you are on a sodium-restricted diet.

Alcoholalcohol

There may be a negative interaction between this medication and alcohol.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • aspirin;
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • albuterol;
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin);
  • amlodipine;
  • hydrocodone;
  • amoxicillin;
  • triamcinolone;
  • Macrobid (nitrofurantoin);
  • atenolol;
  • melatonin;
  • Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim);
  • nitrofurantoin;
  • cephalexin;
  • omeprazole;
  • prednisone;
  • eplerenone;
  • simvastatin;
  • gabapentin;
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • ibuprofen;
  • tramadol;
  • phenazopyridine;
  • Nexium (esomeprazole);
  • naproxen.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done studies to determine the safety of this medication in pregnant women. Do not use this medication without a healthcare provider’s advice if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect a nursing infant. Do not use this medication without a healthcare provider’s advice if you are breastfeeding an infant.

Azo

It is the brand name of a drug called phenazopyridine, that belongs to a group of drugs known as urinary analgesics.

This medication works by providing pain relief in the urinary tract.

Uses

This over-the-counter medication is typically used to relieve the pain/burning associated with a urinary tract infection.

Notes – do not use this medication for longer than 2 days unless your healthcare provider has told you to. It will treat urinary symptoms, but phenazopyridine will not treat a urinary tract infection.

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This medication will most likely darken the color of the urine to a red or orange color. But, don’t worry, this is a normal effect and is not harmful.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 100 to 200 mg after meals three times per day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • upset stomach;
  • dizziness;
  • a headache.

Rare side effects may include:

  • vomiting;
  • little or no urinating;
  • blue appearance of the skin;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • nausea;
  • stomach pain;
  • pain in your lower back;
  • fever (high temperature);
  • loss of appetite;
  • confusion.

Contraindications

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency;
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • liver disease.

Alcohol

There may be a negative interaction between this medication and alcohol.

Drug Interactions

It may negativelly interact with other medications, especially:

  • gabapentin;
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • Lexapro (escitalopram);
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin);
  • melatonin;
  • clonazepam;
  • omeprazole;
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • hydrochlorothiazide;
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • ibuprofen;
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin);
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • metformin (type 2 diabetes medication).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done studies to determine the safety of this medication in pregnant women. Do not use this medication without a healthcare provider’s advice if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect a nursing infant. Do not use this medication without a healthcare provider’s advice if you are breastfeeding an infant.

Bottom Line – Cystex vs Azo

Cystex (active ingredients – methenamine and sodium salicylate) is a medication that is used to help relieve the pain and burning caused by urinary tract infections.

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Azo (active ingredient – phenazopyridine) is a medication that is used to treat urinary symptoms, like increased urination, pain or burning, and increased urge to urinate.

The main difference between these two medications is that Cystex will not change the color of the urine as Azo.

References

http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=10&pid=10&gid=000036
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3784967/

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