Urine Odor Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Normal urine is clear and has a straw-yellow color. While the odor of urine can vary somewhat, in most cases, it does not have a strong smell. With dehydration, the urine is more concentrated and may have a stronger ammonia scent than normal. Consumption of certain foods, such as asparagus (which can impart a characteristic odor to urine), and taking some medications may be causes for changes in the odor of urine. The presence of bacteria in the urine, such as with a urinary tract infection (UTI), can affect the appearance and smell of urine. When there is an infection in the urinary tract, the urine may take on a foul-smelling odor as well as appear cloudy or bloody. A burning sensation during urination may be a symptom of a UTI. The urine may also have an abnormally sweet odor in uncontrolled diabetes, and some rare genetic conditions can also cause the urine to have an abnormal or strange odor.
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Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Causes of Urine Odor
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Other Causes of Urine Odor
- Asparagus Consumption
- Dietary Factors
- Liver Failure
- Maple Syrup Urine Disease
- Rectal Fistula
Examples of Medications for Urine Odor
- amoxicillin, Amoxil, Dispermox (Discontinued), Trimox, Moxatag, Larotid
- ciprofloxacin, Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR
- nitrofurantoin, Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid
- norfloxacin, Noroxin
- ofloxacin, Floxin (Discontinued Brand)
- sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, Bactrim, Bactrim DS
- trimethoprim, Trimpex (Discontinued Brand), Proloprim (Discontinued Brand), Primsol
- trovafloxacin mesylate, Trovan
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