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When the burning, pressure, and strong urge to use the bathroom associated with a UTI strikes, your first thought is likely how to put a stop to those uncomfortable symptoms. Over-the-counter UTI relief products can alleviate your symptoms, and there are several to choose from, including Azo Urinary Tract Defense.

What Is Azo Urinary Tract Defense?

Azo Urinary Tract Defense is a brand-name medication that you can purchase over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug for alleviating UTI symptoms but not as a treatment for urinary tract infections.

What Does Azo Urinary Tract Defense Do?

Azo Urinary Tract Defense contains two key ingredients:

  • Methenamine belongs to the anti-infective class of drugs. It works in two ways. First, it inhibits the growth of bacteria in urine to slow down the spread of the infection. At the same time, it lowers the pH of urine, making it more acidic so bacteria can’t thrive.
  • Sodium salicylate belongs to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) class of medications. It interferes with the body’s ability to produce certain chemicals that play a role in inflammation and pain sensation. As a result, it alleviates pain associated with urinary tract infections.

Can AZO Urinary Tract Defense get rid of a UTI?

No, AZO Urinary Tract Defense does not cure a urinary tract infection. Its purpose is to keep you comfortable and to control the infection until you can see your primary care provider. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic medication capable of eliminating the bacteria responsible for the infection.

What other OTC UTI relief is available?

Another medication that you can consider for UTI relief is phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Hcl). It is the key ingredient in many over-the-counter urinary tract infection products, such as:

Phenazopyridine Hcl is an azo dye that works as a topical pain reliever. When you take an over-the-counter medication that contains it, the drug enters the lower urinary tract and temporarily desensitizes the area. This alleviates the burning, pressure, and urgency symptoms of a UTI. As a side effect, the drug turns urine a bright orange-yellow color. Although the appearance of dyed urine may be alarming, the effect is harmless and will resolve when you stop taking the medication.

Like Azo Urinary Tract Defense, OTC medicines that contain phenazopyridine Hcl are not cures for UTIs. They can only lessen the severity of symptoms, so you feel better while you make arrangements to see your doctor for an antibiotic prescription. 

Are OTC urinary tract infection drugs safe?

Over-the-counter drugs for urinary tract infections are generally safe for most people. However, if you have certain medical conditions or are pregnant or nursing, you may not be able to take these medications. Always read the warnings printed on the packaging. Consult your primary care physician if you’re unsure about taking any OTC drug.

Why you should choose Forward for UTI treatment

While it’s possible for the immune system to clear up an infection on its own, antibiotic treatment is the best way to cure an infection and reduce the risk of complications, such as a serious kidney infection. Forward makes it simple to deal with UTIs by giving you the ability to quickly schedule a virtual or in-person appointment. As your primary care provider, we do more than just prescribe medication to treat the infection. Our one-on-one personalized care also focuses on prevention, so you may experience fewer urinary tract infections in the future.

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