Can You Take Azo While Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?

can you take azo while breastfeeding

One needs to be very careful when dealing with a newborn since one wrong thing can cause a serious infection or a fatal medical condition. Over-the-counter medication is one of the biggest reasons for pregnancy-related issues, so the medicines must be first checked to see if they are safe. One of the most common questions new mothers have is ‘Can you take azo while breastfeeding?’ The simple answer is ‘no,’ but we’ll get into the details.

During pregnancy, lower urinary tract infections are quite prevalent. Frequent urinary tract infections are difficult to treat since the only potential treatment is long-term antibiotic prophylaxis, which increases the risk of resistant bacteria. Azo is commonly used for the treatment of UTIs. Azo can mix with breast milk and pass on to the baby. There are some over-the-counter medications and certain ways to avoid this danger.

A UTI, like any other disease, can influence your milk production, but not by a lot. However, if the UTI is paired with some other disease, it can have a significant impact on the mother’s milk and, ultimately, the child. Prescribed antibiotics can prevent UTIs because they kill the UTI-causing germs. Often, these antibiotics are safe to use while breastfeeding; however, you must inform your doctor that you are a nursing mother so you can be prescribed some other medications if needed. A UTI is usually diagnosed by either endoscopic procedures or by examining the urine.

Many people believe that they only have to be careful during pregnancy, but that is not true. During the first few months after birth, the mother must be careful of what she eats and drinks, as this can also affect her baby, who is being fed breast milk. This is especially true for any medications the mother might be taking for infections or diseases.

What Is Azo?

Azo is a painkiller that works on the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). Azo yeast is an over-the-counter medication that helps treat problems such as discomfort or burning and more frequent urination. Infections, injuries, surgeries, catheters, or other types of discomfort that affect the bladder can all produce these symptoms.

Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is used to treat symptoms produced by urinary tract infections, including discomfort, burning, and the desire to pee quickly or often. Azo does not deal with the underlying cause of bladder irritation; however, it does provide symptomatic relief until other therapies take effect.

Types of Azo:

Go for whichever azo fits your needs:

  • Azo yeast
  • Azo standard
  • Azo oral
  • Azo urinary pain relief

Before using this medication:

If you have a renal condition or are intolerant to AZO Pain Relief, do not take it. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are dealing with any of the following conditions to ensure Azo is safe for you:

  • Liver issues
  • Kidney issues
  • RBC problems

Can I Take Azo While Pregnant?

According to FDA pregnancy category B, the phenazopyridine hydrochloride in AZO standard or azo yeast may damage an unborn child, as sometimes the drug passes from the bloodstream of the mother into the child.

If you’re expecting, do not take AZO yeast without seeing your doctor.

Is Azo To Consume When Breastfeeding?

It is unknown whether phenazopyridine hydrochloride enters breast milk or whether it can affect breastfeeding infants. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is not known to be safe for use in children or while breastfeeding.

Azo standard and azo yeast medication should be avoided when nursing since it can cause the following:


Methemoglobinemia develops when methemoglobin concentrations in red blood cells (RBCs) exceed 1%.

Methemoglobin is caused by the concentration of iron in oxidized ferric form (Fe3+) rather than the reduced ferrous form (Fe2+). As a result, the tissues’ oxygen supply is reduced. Azo can produce too much methemoglobin.


Sulfhemoglobinemia is the accumulation of sulfhemoglobin in the blood as a result of aberrant, permanent sulfur bonding to hemoglobin. The sulfur atom oxidizes the heme moiety in hemoglobin, leaving it incapable of carrying oxygen.

Hemolytic anemia

Hemolytic anemia is a condition wherein red blood cells, which transport oxygen, are destroyed faster than they can be produced.

These can happen especially if the newborn is under one month old or has a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficit. Do not take azo pills while breastfeeding without consulting a doctor.

Symptoms To Look Out For

The usage of AZO standard and azo yeast medication may result in significant negative effects. Stop taking the AZO pill immediately and get in contact with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Urinating rarely or not at all
  • Swollenness, fast weight gain, abdomen pain
  • Fever, pale complexion or yellowing of the skin, nausea, infection, and vomiting

Adverse Effects of the Azo Pill While Breastfeeding

Adverse Effects of the Azo Pill While Breastfeeding

Taking AZO yeast may have the following adverse effects:

  • Migraine
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Phosphate dehydrogenase g6pd deficiency

There may be other adverse effects of azo yeast on breastfeeding moms that are not included in this list. For professional medical advice on side effects, contact your doctor.

How To Treat UTI While Breastfeeding

There are a few things you can do to self-treat urinary tract infections when breastfeeding.

Include Cranberry Juice in Your Diet

Experts now believe that drinking cranberry juice makes it more difficult for infection-causing germs to adhere to the lower urinary tract mucosa.

The chemicals in cranberry juice may alter the bacteria’s ability to adhere to the urinary system. It’s also possible that cranberries form a slick covering on the urinary system walls, making it difficult for E. coli to obtain a solid grip.

Drink Lots of Water

As per generations of women and new research published in JAMA, increased water consumption can help people avoid urinary tract infections (UTIs). Breastfeeding mothers who drank 1.5 liters of water per day in addition to their usual fluid consumption would be less likely to have another UTI than those who consumed less.

Drinking water makes you want to pee more, allowing harmful cells and bacteria to be expelled from the urinary system, which helps prevent future infections.


Breastfeeding mothers and female patients should take antibiotics like nitrofurantoin if the doctor or pediatrician certifies that the infant is healthy.

Nitrofurantoin is found in minute concentrations in breast milk; therefore, it is unlikely to have  negative effects on your infant. However, the best course of action with nitrofurantoin is to use it for a short period.

Complications From Urinary Tract Infections

A UTI may lead to any of the following complications:

  • Recurring infections and severe side effects in many women, especially in women who have had three or more UTIs within six months or four or more within twelve months.
  • Chronic or acute kidney infections (pyelonephritis) caused by an untreated UTI can cause permanent kidney problems.
  • When an infection spreads up from the urinary tract to the kidneys, it can cause sepsis, a potentially fatal condition.

What Medication Can I Take For Urinary Tract Infection While Breastfeeding?

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, nitrofurantoin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, or ofloxacin are popular options. These antibiotics are deemed safe for breastfeeding children by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), with no recorded allergic reaction in nursing babies. In addition, probiotics (having good bacteria as the active ingredient) can be used to keep the urinary tract healthy.

Your and Your Baby’s Health Comes First!

Ensure that you are taking care of yourself and your baby. Before anything else, you should focus on your and your baby’s well-being. Only use azo yeast if the doctor allows it.

As soon as you notice any symptoms of a urinary tract infection or any other disease, immediately check with your doctor and take all the necessary precautions and early treatment if possible, so you can take proper care of your child.

Take Time For Yourself

Don’t feel sorry if you have to take some time off to focus on your health. UTIs are serious illnesses affecting thousands of women every year. You need to be in good health so your child can also have a good life. 

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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