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  #1  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:43 AM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Why do antibiotics make your urine smell bad?

I first noticed this phenomenon when I was in the hospital a few years ago, receiving IV antibiotics for a bout of cellulitis. I've always assumed, anyway, that the truly offensive odor of my urine at that time was the result of the antibiotics.

Now, I'm taking oral antibiotics (Cipro) for an outbreak of diabetic ulcers on my legs, and I'm noticing again that my urine's pretty darn offensive at certain times of the day (I'm taking 1 pill a day, and the odor coincides with a point four or five hours after I take the pill). It's only been that way since I started taking the antibiotics.

Is this a recognized phenomenon or am I just a freak?


Okay, more of a freak than usual...
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2008, 08:48 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I think you may actually be smelling the antibiotic compounds themselves - which you don't notice on its way into your body in the pills, because they're dry, or in the IV, because doesn't go near your nose at all (at least, not on the outside).

When Penicillin was first developed, they collected the urine from patients it was given to, and reprocessed it to extract the compound - because it was so scarce and valuable, and because a considerable amount of it passed right through unchanged.

Last edited by Mangetout; 05-30-2008 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:49 AM
vetbridge vetbridge is offline
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Sulfa drugs (Trimethoprim Sulfa for example) can make urine smell like you've just eaten a large plate of asparagus. Also, you are often in a ketotic state when you are on antibiotics in the hospital (no eating) and urine with ketone bodies has a distinct odor.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:02 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Also, antibiotics often end up encouraging fungal growth, by killing the normal skin flora that suppress fungus. This is especially noticeable in the groin and skin folds. Some folks get a whiff of this fungal overgrowth when they disrobe to urinate.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:11 AM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Also, antibiotics often end up encouraging fungal growth, by killing the normal skin flora that suppress fungus. This is especially noticeable in the groin and skin folds. Some folks get a whiff of this fungal overgrowth when they disrobe to urinate.
<anecdote> I almost invariably wind up with "itchy ass syndrome" when taking typical broad-spectrum antibiotics. </anecdote>
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  #6  
Old 05-30-2008, 10:29 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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More tea, Vicar?

Last edited by Mangetout; 05-30-2008 at 10:29 AM..
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