Phenazopyridine is a dye that helps to relieve burning and the feeling of needing to urinate often with a urinary tract infection, according to WebMD. While it does not cure the underlying infection, it helps to relieve the symptoms it causes.
Pharmacists supply phenazopyridine as a capsule or tablet, according to MedlinePlus. Patients should swallow the medication whole and not crush it. The normal directions for use include taking the medication three times daily after a meal. Once the pain and other symptoms completely disappear, patients can stop taking phenazopyridine.
Phenazopyridine changes the color of the urine to a reddish orange, explains Mayo Clinic. Patients should contact their medical care provider if they experience blood in the urine or their pain becomes worse. They should also call their doctor if there is a sudden decrease in urine output while taking this medication. The dye in the medication sometimes stains contact lenses. This medication also affects the results of some medical tests, including those for urine sugar.
Common side effects include headache, dizziness and upset stomach, reports MedlinePlus. If these symptoms become severe or do not go away, the patient should inform a doctor. The doctor normally prescribes this medication because she feels the benefits outweigh any potential side effects.