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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Urolene Blue

Generic Name: methylene blue (oral and injection) (Pronunciation: METH i leen BLOO)

What is methylene blue (Urolene Blue)?

Methemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin (HEEM o glo bin). Hemoglobin is a substance in blood that carries oxygen and distributes it to your tissues and organs. However, methemoglobin is not a type of hemoglobin that is useful in carrying oxygen.

Methemoglobin normally exists in small amounts in the blood. However, when methemoglobin levels increase, the blood is less efficient in circulating oxygen. The resulting lack of oxygen throughout the body can cause symptoms such as pale or blue-colored skin.

Methemoglobinemia is a condition in which methemoglobin is present in high levels in the blood. Methemoglobinemia usually occurs when a person is exposed to certain drugs or chemicals such as nitrites. It may also be caused by a genetic disorder.

Methylene blue injection is used to treat methemoglobinemia. It works by converting methemoglobin to a more efficient type of hemoglobin to better carry oxygen throughout the body.

Methylene blue oral is used to treat methemoglobinemia and urinary tract infections. It works as a mild antiseptic to kill bacteria in the urinary tract. You will most likely also be given an antibiotic medication to treat your infection.

Methylene blue is also used as a dye or staining agent to make certain body fluids and tissues easier to view during surgery or on an x-ray or other diagnostic exam.

Methylene blue may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of methylene blue (Urolene Blue)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain;
  • pain in your chest or behind your breast bone;
  • pale or blue skin;
  • high fever, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing; or
  • confusion, feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about methylene blue (Urolene Blue)?

Do not use methylene blue if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Many drugs can interact with methylene blue. Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. You may need to stop using certain medicines before using methylene blue (in some cases for up to 5 weeks before you start methylene blue). During your treatment with methylene blue, do not start or stop using any other medications unless your doctor tells you to.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to methylene blue, or if you have severe kidney problems.

Before using methylene blue, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

Also tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially antacids, diuretics (water pills), sodium bicarbonate, or acetazolamide (Diamox).

If you take an antidepressant or psychiatric medication, call your doctor right away if you have signs of a serious drug interaction, including: confusion, memory problems, feeling hyperactive (mentally or physically), loss of coordination, muscle twitching, shivering, sweating, diarrhea, and/or fever.

Methylene blue will most likely cause your urine or stools to appear blue or green in color. This is a normal side effect of the medication and will not cause any harm.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using methylene blue.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as severe vomiting or stomach pain, pain in your chest or behind your breast bone, pale or blue skin, high fever, fast or pounding heartbeats, trouble breathing, confusion, or feeling like you might pass out.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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