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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
In This ArticleBladder Infection (Cystitis) Article
- What is a bladder infection?
- What causes bladder infections?
- What are some risk factors for bladder infection?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in women?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in men?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in children?
- How is a bladder infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a bladder infection?
- Are home remedies effective for a bladder infection?
- How is a bladder infection during pregnancy treated?
- What are potential complications of a bladder infection?
- Can bladder infections be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a bladder infection?
In This ArticleDehydration Article
- Dehydration facts
- What is dehydration?
- What causes dehydration?
- Dehydration pictures
- What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
- What about dehydration in children?
- How is dehydration diagnosed?
- How is dehydration treated?
- Can I treat dehydration at home?
- What are the complications of dehydration?
- Can dehydration be prevented?
In This ArticleDiabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
- Diabetes facts
- What is diabetes?
- What is the impact of diabetes?
- What causes diabetes?
- What are the different types of diabetes?
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- Other types of diabetes
- What are diabetes symptoms?
- How is diabetes diagnosed?
- Why is blood sugar checked at home?
- What are the acute complications of diabetes?
- What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
- What can be done to slow diabetes complications?
In This ArticlePhenylketonuria Article
- What is phenylketonuria (PKU)?
- What are the symptoms of phenylketonuria?
- How common is phenylketonuria?
- What genes are related to phenylketonuria?
- How do people inherit phenylketonuria?
- What other names do people use for phenylketonuria?
Other Causes of Urine Odor
- 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, Septra
- trimethoprim, Trimpex (Discontinued Brand), Proloprim (Discontinued Brand), Primsol
- trovafloxacin mesylate, Trovan
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