Medications in urine

All information on medicines in urine

At a glance

Nowadays, a variety of pharmaceuticals are taken by the healthy and the sick. These are metabolized more or less strongly by the body and eliminated and excreted at different speed. In urine, drug intake and effect can be checked via various parameters.

Essentially, these are color, the composition and the smell. The latter plays a rather minor role in the case of drugs.

By controlling urine, some medications can be checked out whether and at what dosage they have been taken. And whether they have been metabolized by the body as desired. It is no coincidence that in the field of clinical or pharmacological studies, urine excretion is very often controlled in terms of the amount and content given.

For more information

The following list shows a small selection of the influences of drugs on the urine. Because most patients cannot necessarily establish the link between the drug and discoloration, they should ideally be advised by a specialist when dispensing the drug:

  • Betacarotene, sulfasalazine (yellow)
  • Isoniazid, multivitamin preparations (orange)
  • Phenolphthalein (pink)
  • Iron chelators, levodopa, rifampicin, levodopa (red)
  • Chloroquine, nitrofurantoin (red-brown)
  • Amitriptyline, Indometacin, Mitoxantrone, Methylene Blue, Propofol, Fluorescein (green)
  • Mitoxantrone, Propofol, Triamterene (blue)
  • Methyldopa, Levodopa, Metronidazole (black)


  • 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): Nachweis von Drogen und Medikamenten im Urin mittels Schnelltests, Dtsch Arztebl; 100(17): A-1138 / B-956 / C-898, Abgerufen am 18.06.2019
  • 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: Autumn 2019