Discolored urine is often caused by medications, certain foods or food dyes. In some cases, though, changes in urine color may be caused by specific 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 reddish orange — as can phenazopyridine (Pyridium), a drug that numbs urinary tract discomfort, and laxatives containing senna.
  • 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.

Orange urine

Orange urine may result from:

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 may be caused by:

  • 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 benign 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 cola-colored urine

Brown urine can result from:

  • 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 (Flagyl) 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.
  • Extreme exercise. Muscle injury from extreme exercise can result in pink or cola-colored urine and kidney damage.

Cloudy or murky urine

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

Mar. 14, 2015

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