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Medications in urine

All information on medicines in urine

At a glance

A large part of the population takes medication on a daily basis. These are absorbed by the body, metabolized and finally excreted. A large number of the drugs are eliminated via the kidney, so that substance changent products of the drugs can be found in the urine. As a result, the medication intake and effect can be checked in the urine via various parameters.

Medications are also often the cause of changes in the smell or color of urine.

Further information

The following list shows a small selection of the effects of various active ingredients of drugs on the urine:

  • Beta-carotene, sulfasalazine: yellowing
  • Isoniazid, multivitamin preparations: orange coloration
  • Phenolphthalein: pink coloration
  • Iron chelators, levodopa, rifampicin, levodopa: red coloration
  • Chloroquine, nitrofurantoin: reddish-brown coloration
  • Amitriptyline, indomethacin, mitoxantrone, methylene blue, propofol, fluorescein: green coloration
  • Mitoxantrone, propofol, triamterene: blue coloration
  • Methyldopa, levodopa, metronidazole: black coloration


  • Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH (2014): Kompendium der Urinanalyse. Urinteststreifen und Mikroskopie, 1-196
  • Abu-Tair, M. (2010): Urindiagnostik im klinischen Alltag. Medizinische Klinik, 105(5), 351-358
  • Aycock, R. D. & Kass, D. A. (2012): Abnormal urine color. South Med J, 105 (1), 43-7
  • Külpmann, W.R.: (2003): Detection of drugs and medications in urine by means of rapid tests, Dtsch Arztebl; 100(17): A-1138 / B-956 / C-898
  • Hannak D, Külpmann WR, Degel F et al. (2002): Messmethoden der klinisch-toxikologischen Analytik. In: Külpmann WR ed.: Klinisch-toxikologische Analytik. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 21–23
Status of information: 2022