Multimedia

Multimedia

    Discolored urine is often caused by medications, certain foods or food dyes. In some cases, though, changes in urine color may be caused by certain health problems.

    Red or pink urine

    Despite its alarming appearance, red urine isn't necessarily serious. Red or pink urine may be caused by:

    • Blood. Factors that can cause urinary blood (hematuria) include urinary tract infections, enlarged prostate, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, kidney cysts, long-distance running, and kidney or bladder stones.
    • Foods. Beets, blackberries and rhubarb can turn urine red or pink.
    • Medications. Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), an antibiotic often used to treat tuberculosis, can turn urine red — as can phenazopyridine (Pyridium), a drug that numbs urinary tract discomfort, and laxatives containing senna.
    • Toxins. Chronic lead or mercury poisoning can cause urine to turn red.

    Orange urine

    Orange urine is hard to miss. Blame it on:

    • Medications. Medications that can turn urine orange include rifampin; the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine (Azulfidine); phenazopyridine (Pyridium), a drug that numbs urinary tract discomfort; some laxatives; and certain chemotherapy drugs.
    • Medical conditions. In some cases, orange urine can indicate a problem with your liver or bile duct, especially if you also have light-colored stools. Orange urine may also be caused by dehydration, which can concentrate your urine and make it much deeper in color.

    Blue or green urine

    Blue or green urine can result from:

    • Dyes. Some brightly colored food dyes can cause green urine. Dyes used for some tests of kidney and bladder function can turn urine blue.
    • Medications. A number of medications produce blue or green urine, including amitriptyline, indomethacin (Indocin) and propofol (Diprivan).
    • Medical conditions. Familial hypercalcemia, a rare inherited disorder, is sometimes called blue diaper syndrome because children with the disorder have blue urine. Green urine sometimes occurs during urinary tract infections caused by pseudomonas bacteria.

    Dark brown or tea-colored urine

    • Food. Eating large amounts of fava beans, rhubarb or aloe can cause dark brown urine.
    • Medications. A number of drugs can darken urine, including the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and primaquine, the antibiotics metronidazole and nitrofurantoin, laxatives containing cascara or senna, and methocarbamol — a muscle relaxant.
    • Medical conditions. Some liver and kidney disorders can turn urine dark brown, as can some urinary tract infections.

    Cloudy or murky urine

    Urinary tract infections and kidney stones can cause urine to appear cloudy or murky.

    Sep. 30, 2011