Shi et al identified factors which cause patients to misuse over-the-counter phenazopyridine (pyridium) or to substitute it for seeing a provider. The inappropriate use of an over-the-counter drug can result in harm to the patient over the long term. The authors are from the University of California Los Angeles.


Elements of inappropriate use:

(1) taking the drug despite a contraindication (liver or renal disease, other)

(2) self-medicating when contact with a health care provider is indicated

(3) taking the drug when there is no indication for its use


Risk factors for inappropriate use:

(1) no time or intent to see a health care provider

(2) advice from a friend or relative

(3) history of receiving prescription strength pyridium

(4) history of a previous urinary tract infection (UTI)

(5) presence of back pain (musculoskeletal pain misinterpreted as a symptom of a UTI)

(6) ignorance about the drug's mode of action


To this I would add ignorance about the contraindications to use the drug.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.