Azo, or Phenazopyridine, is a drug that is used to relieve the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. UTIs can effect people of all ages, but is Azo safe for your 7-year-old? I did some research, and here’s what I found.
Can a 7-Year-Old take Azo? An otherwise healthy 7 year old can take Azo, but the dose is based on body weight. Additionally, the cause of urinary pain should be known. Have her/him checked out for a urinary tract infection, etc. If the child has known kidney disease (or a couple of other rare conditions) this medicine is not recommended.
Any medication that your child takes should be measured closely, based on their weight. And, before you give your child any medicine, be sure to know about all the side effects that are possible.
What Is Azo?
Azo, or Phenazopyridine, is a pain reliever that affects the lower part of your urinary tract (bladder and urethra). It can be purchased over-the-counter as well as by prescription.
Phenazopyridine is used to treat urinary symptoms such as pain or burning, increased urination, and increased urge to urinate. These symptoms can be caused by infection, injury, surgery, catheter, or other conditions that irritate the bladder.
Phenazopyridine will treat urinary symptoms, but this medication will not treat a urinary tract infection.. Have your child take any antibiotic that your doctor prescribes to treat an infection. Failing to do so may result in the infection getting worse.
The correct dosage for children 6-12 years of age would be 4mg per kilogram of body weight.
The over-the-counter version of Phenazopyridine is 99.7 mg tablets. So, if your child weighed 55 pounds, they could take one whole tablet at a time. However, any less than that, and you should modify the tablet accordingly.
Side effects are a very real part of taking any medication. Azo is no different. Some side effects may occur more than others, while some may not appear at all. Make sure you carefully check with and consult with a pediatrician before giving your 7-year-old any medication.
Some common side effects of Azo include:
- dizziness; or
- upset stomach.
Serious side effects may include:
- little or no urinating;
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- confusion, loss of appetite, pain in your side or lower back;
- fever, pale or yellowed skin, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting; or
- blue or purple appearance of your skin.
If any of these side effects manifest themselves in your child, have them stop taking Azo immediately and call the doctor as soon as possible. Failing to do so may be fatal.
Interactions and Directions
Your child should not use phenazopyridine if they have kidney disease. This may be fatal.
Your child should not use phenazopyridine if they are allergic to it, or if they have kidney disease.
To make sure phenazopyridine is safe for you, tell your doctor if your child has:
- liver disease;
- diabetes; or
- a genetic enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take phenazopyridine after meals.
Drink plenty of liquids while taking phenazopyridine.
Phenazopyridine will most likely darken the color of your child’s urine to an orange or red color. This is a normal effect and is not harmful. Darkened urine may also cause stains to underwear that may be permanent.
Phenazopyridine can also permanently stain soft contact lenses, and your child should not wear them while taking this medicine.
Do not use phenazopyridine for longer than 2 days unless the doctor has told you to.
This medication can cause unusual results with urine tests. Tell any doctor who treats your child that he or she is using phenazopyridine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Be sure to discard any expired medications, and keep all medicines out of reach of children.
About 1% of boys and 3% of girls develop UTIs by age 11. This includes some children who repeatedly delay a bathroom trip. Their muscles may not relax enough later to fully empty the bladder and flush away any bacteria. More regular bathroom trips and drinking plenty of liquids may help. A small number of children have a structural problem that obstructs urine flow or lets urine flow back from the bladder to the kidneys, triggering chronic kidney infections. This can lead to kidney damage.
While it is safe for your child to take Azo, it is very important to realize that Azo will not treat the infection that he or she may be suffering from. The medication will relieve the symptoms, ultimately making your child more comfortable. However, without the proper antibiotics, the infection will get worse.
In many doctors’ experience, Azo has been given to children whose parents are trying to avoid a visit to the doctor’s office. This must be avoided.
There are several problems that arise if a UTI goes untreated. The main danger associated with untreated UTIs is that the infection may spread from the bladder to one or both kidneys. When bacteria attack the kidneys, they can cause damage that will permanently reduce kidney function. In people who already have kidney problems, this can raise the risk of kidney failure. There’s also a small chance that the infection may enter the bloodstream and spread to other organs.
Prescription antibiotics will almost always cure a UTI. Your health care provider may recommend drinking lots of fluids and emptying the bladder frequently to help flush out the bacteria. Kidney infections can often be treated with oral antibiotics, too. But severe kidney infections may require hospital care, including a course of intravenous antibiotics. Severe kidney infections are, of course, less likely than a UTI in your child, but if the UTI is left untreated, it could lead to the severe kidney infection.
People with diabetes are more vulnerable to UTIs for several reasons. First, their immune systems tend to be weaker. Second, high blood sugar can spill into the urine and encourage the growth of bacteria. Also, nerve damage related to diabetes can prevent the bladder from fully emptying. Children with diabetes should be taken to their doctor at the first sign of a UTI.
Debate in the Medical World
While our source for this post, Monica Fisher, M.D., a licensed pediatrician, says that Azo is safe as long as it’s taken in the correct dosage, there is some debate in the medical world as to whether or not it’s recommended. The risk of parents not taking their child to see a doctor because their pain has lessened, combined with other possible health issues, leads some doctors to not recommend it at all.
In other words, Azo is probably safe for your 7-year-old to take. However, many doctors would not give it to their own 7-year-olds. Consider that before making any medical decisions in this particular regard. Also, be sure to consult with your pediatrician extensivly, and see what he or she may recommend as a medical professional.
How do I know if my child has a UTI? The main symptoms are pain in the lower belly, back, or side and an urgent need to pee or pee more often. Some kids may even wet the bed. Other symptoms include burning or pain when your child pees, foul-smelling or cloudy pee, an urgent need to go, and then only peeing a few drops, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How soon should I get my 7-year-old to the doctor if I think they have a UTI? You should get your child to the doctor as soon as you think there may be a problem. Failure to do so will result in the infection getting worse, thus making your child extremely sick. A trip to the doctor and some antibiotics is much better than kidney failure, I promise.
Will cranberry juice treat my child’s UTI? Cranberry juice has been praised as a treatment for UTIs for a very long time. However, that assumption is incomplete. Cranberries help to prevent UTIs, especially in older people, but they do not cure them. Please get your child antibiotics to clear up the infection.