Urine that appears red in color could be a sign of a serious health problem.
There are many reasons your urine might turn red. Foods known to make your urine red or pink include blackberries, rhubarb and beets. This is due to the fact that these foods contain anthocyanins. If the cause of your red urine is the foods you’ve eaten, the unusual color will go away in a day or two. It is harmless.
Medications that Cause Red Urine
Certain medications can turn your urine red. If you’ve just started a new medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if red urine is a side effect of your medication. Some medications known to cause red urine are:
- Rifampin– an anti-biotic
- Pyridium (phenazopyridine)- often an ingredient in medications for relief of urinary pain
- Senna– sometimes an ingredient in laxatives
- Compazine– an anti-nausea medication
- Coumadin (warfarin)- a blood thinner
- Aspirin– a common pain reliever
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)- an anti-seizure medication
- Quinine (Quinerva, Quinite)- an anti-malaria drug that is also a component of tonic water and bitter lemon
- Some tranquilizers and laxatives can turn urine a reddish color.
More Causes of Red Urine
The most common causes of red urine (if not caused by diet or medications) are urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney stones.
Blood in urine can make it look red. If you have blood in your urine, there are several possible causes. See our page on Blood In Urine for more information.
Although they are not the most common causes, kidney disease or a tumor in the urinary tract can cause red urine.
Another rare cause can be Sickle Cell Anemia.