If your urine is any color other than yellowish-orange, yellow or clear-you could have a serious medical condition. Very dark orange, reddish or brown urine, for instance, likely has blood in it and could be a sign of infection.
There are some prescription drugs, however, that can change the color of your urine simply by passing through your system.
Red urine can result, for instance, by taking drugs such as deferoxamine, which is used to treat iron poisoning or phenazopyridine, which is prescribed to treat urinary tract infection pain.
Here are some other potential urine colors and some of the drugs that can cause them:
- Black-can result from taking furazolidone, Flagyl (generic name metronidazole), and other antibiotics. Aldomet (generic name methyldopa), which is used to treat high blood pressure in pregnant women, also can make urine look black because it darkens upon contact with bleach-frequently used to clean toilet bowls.
- Purple-can be a side effect of taking phenolphthalein, a medication that has long been used as a laxative, but is falling out of favor because of concerns that it may cause cancer.
- Green-can result from taking Robaxin (generic name methocarbamol), which is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms and Elavil (generic name amitriptyline hydrochloride), which is an antidepressant also used to treat children who wet the bed.
- Blue-can result as a side effect of taking Dyrenium (generic name tariamterene), which is a diuretic, or by taking methylene blue, a chemical compound used in medications like Urised which seek to reduce irritation resulting from bladder infections.