Drug Information

Methenamine Hippurate

What is METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

(METHENAMINE HIPPURATE) Methenamine is used to prevent or control returning urinary tract infections caused by certain bacteria. It is not used to treat an active infection. Antibiotics must be used first to treat and cure the infection. Methenamine is a drug that stops the growth of bacteria in urine. This medication also contains an ingredient that helps to make the urine acidic. When the urine is acidic, methenamine turns into formaldehyde to kill the bacteria. This drug is effective only against bacterial infections in the urinary tract. It will not work for other types of bacterial infections (such as in the blood) or for viral infections (such as the common cold or flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibacterial drug can lead to its decreased effectiveness.

How should I use METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on the brand of methenamine you are prescribed, your medical condition, and your response to treatment. For children, dosage is also based on age and weight. Methenamine works better if your urine is more acidic. Your doctor may test the acidity of your urine (urine pH). If necessary, your doctor may recommend ways to increase urine acidity (such as by taking vitamin C/drinking cranberry juice, limiting foods that decrease acidity/increase alkalinity such as milk products/most fruits, adjusting alkalinizing medications). See also Drug Interactions section. Follow your doctor's instructions. For the best effect, take this drug at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day. Keep taking this medication for the full time prescribed, even if you feel well. Skipping doses or stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection and make the bacteria more difficult to treat (resistant). Do not take more of this drug than directed because it may increase your chance of side effects. Tell your doctor if symptoms of a urinary tract infection return (such as burning/painful/frequent urination).

What should I tell my health care provider before I take METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

Before taking methenamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to formaldehyde; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, liver problems, dehydration. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

What may interact with METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

See also How to Use section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: sulfonamide drugs (including sulfa antibiotics such as sulfamethizole), products that decrease the amount of acid in the urine (urinary alkalinizers such as antacids, sodium bicarbonate, potassium or sodium citrate, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide). This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

What if I miss a dose of METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

What side effects may I notice from receiving METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Painful or difficult urination may occur with methenamine, although less often. Report these side effects to your doctor, who may need to lower your dose of methenamine or change your treatment to make your urine less acidic. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Taking higher than recommended doses of methenamine may cause bladder irritation, painful/frequent urination, and bloody/pink urine. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mouth sores, unusual headache, ringing in the ears, muscle cramps, swelling of the arms/legs. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Where should I keep METHENAMINE HIPPURATE?

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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