Can You Take Azo and Nitrofurantoin Together?

Can You Take Azo and Nitrofurantoin Together

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a common problem, especially among women, causing discomfort and pain that can disrupt daily life.

In seeking relief, patients often explore different treatment options, including the use of Azo (Phenazopyridine) for symptom relief and antibiotics like Nitrofurantoin for treating the infection itself. But can these medications be taken together safely?

In today’s article, we will examine the safety and effectiveness of combining Azo with Nitrofurantoin. We’ll explore the mechanisms of each medication and how they interact in the body to provide relief from the symptoms and treat the infection.

What is Azo and How It Works

Azo (Phenazopyridine) is a medication commonly used to alleviate the discomfort, pain, and urgency of urination associated with UTIs until antibiotics take effect. It works by soothing the inside of the urinary tract.

Unlike antibiotics, Azo does not treat the infection itself; it merely reduces the symptoms, which makes the infection more tolerable. It’s important to know that while Azo can quickly help with symptoms, it’s best used with antibiotics like Nitrofurantoin to fully get rid of the infection.

How Azo Works in the Body

Azo (Phenazopyridine) works mainly as an analgesic within the urinary tract, targeting the mucosa lining. Once ingested, it is quickly excreted in the urine, where its active ingredients exert a direct soothing effect on the irritated bladder and urethral tissues.

This action helps to diminish the pain, burning, and urgency often experienced with urinary tract infections. Azo doesn’t kill bacteria; its job is to make you feel better while other medicines get rid of the infection.

What is Nitrofurantoin and How It Works

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic prescribed specifically for treating urinary tract infections caused by certain types of bacteria. It works by inhibiting the growth and multiplication of bacteria, thereby eliminating the infection from the urinary tract.

Unlike Azo, Nitrofurantoin targets the cause of the UTI rather than just alleviating the symptoms. It works against many types of bacteria and is usually the first choice for treating UTIs.

Nitrofurantoin is taken orally and is best absorbed when taken with food or milk to enhance its effectiveness and reduce side effects.

How Nitrofurantoin Works in the Body

Once ingested, Nitrofurantoin is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the urinary tract, where it exerts its antibacterial effects. It interferes with the bacteria’s ability to produce proteins and other chemicals that they need to survive and multiply.

This disruption stops the growth of the bacteria, allowing the body’s immune system to eliminate the remaining pathogens.

Nitrofurantoin works well for UTIs because it focuses on the urinary tract. It doesn’t affect bacteria in other parts of the body much, which helps avoid antibiotic resistance.

Is it safe to take Azo and Nitrofurantoin together?

The short answer is, Yes. There are currently no interactions found between Azo and Nitrofurantoin.

Azo, being a urinary analgesic, provides quick relief from the discomfort and pain from UTIs. Meanwhile, the antibiotic Nitrofurantoin fights the infection itself. This is a good way to deal with both the symptoms and the cause at the same time, making sure the UTI is treated properly.

But, like with all medicine, it’s important to listen to your doctor’s advice and dosage instructions when taking these medications together to maximize effectiveness and minimize potential side effects.

Possible benefits of taking Azo and Nitrofurantoin together

  • Symptom Relief and Infection Control: Combining Azo with Nitrofurantoin offers dual benefits — immediate symptom relief provided by Azo and direct infection control by Nitrofurantoin.
  • Reduced Discomfort During Treatment: Azo’s fast-acting relief of symptoms like pain, burning, and urgency, making it easier for patients to stick with their antibiotic treatment.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Quick symptom control can lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life for those suffering from UTIs, enabling them to resume their daily activities with minimal disruption.
  • Prevention of Complications: Taking care of symptoms early and treating the infection properly can help avoid bigger issues from UTIs, like kidney infections, which are more serious and need stronger treatment.

Possible Risks and Considerations

While combining Azo and Nitrofurantoin has its benefits, it’s important to be mindful of potential risks and considerations:

  • Risk of Overlooking Symptoms: Just using Azo to feel better can make people ignore how serious their infection is, causing delays in getting the right antibiotic treatment.
  • Allergic Reactions: Both medications can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Discoloration of Urine: Azo can cause a reddish-orange discoloration of urine, which is harmless but can be surprising if unexpected.
  • Digestive System Side Effects: Nitrofurantoin may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. Taking it with food or milk can help minimize these effects.

If you want to learn more about Azo or Nitrofurantoin, see these articles:

Drug and Food Interactions

No alcohol or food interactions with the medication were found. Even though no direct issues are reported, it’s important to consider your own health, allergies, and the exact cause of your infection when planning treatment.

Always take the medicine as directed, like taking Nitrofurantoin with food or milk to help your body absorb it better and reduce side effects. Paying attention to these guidelines is key to effectively treating urinary tract infections.


In conclusion, managing urinary tract infections effectively involves not just alleviating symptoms but addressing the root cause of the infection. The combination of Azo and Nitrofurantoin offers a comprehensive approach by providing immediate symptom relief through Azo while Nitrofurantoin works to eliminate the infection.

This dual-action treatment can enhance patient comfort and improve outcomes. However, it’s important to use these medicines with a doctor’s advice to make sure they are safe and work well. Always talk to your doctor to find the best treatment for your health.


How long should I take Azo when on Nitrofurantoin?

Usually, Azo can be taken during the first couple of days of starting Nitrofurantoin therapy or until the major discomfort subsides. However, it’s advisable not to use Azo for more than 2 days without consulting your doctor.

Can I take Nitrofurantoin with milk?

Yes, you can take Nitrofurantoin with milk. In fact, taking it with milk or food can enhance the drug’s absorption and effectiveness while also minimizing potential side effects like nausea or an upset stomach.

Can I take Nitrofurantoin and acyclovir together?

There is no known interaction between Nitrofurantoin and acyclovir. However, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any risk of interactions. You should consult your doctor first before combining any medications.



The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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