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Clartin or Ibuprofen for damaged liver causing urine smell?

Patient: I recently started noticing a strong almost chemical smell to my pee. I had cirrhosis (which turned out to be severe alcoholic hepatitis) about 3 years ago. I am over 2 years sober and I have been given the all clear and my liver functions are 100% normal. I also get very frequent UTIs which I treat with AZO and yeast infections which I tread with a prescribed one day anti-fungal. Lately I have been getting a lot of headaches so my ibuprofen intake has increase, in addition I started taking Clartin-D. My question is is it possibly the Clartin or the increased ibuprofen (given my liver history) causing the smell?


Symptoms: Metallic smell in urine.

Doctor: Thank you for your question. It is certainly possible to observe changes in the odour of urine when taking certain medic ations. However, Antihistamines and Ibuprofen generally do not cause this. It is possible that the changes in the odour of your urine could be a symptom of a sub-clinical (asymptomatic) urinary tract infection. With you repeated history of urinary tract infections, it is possible that you could be developing another one. We recommend that you have your doctor perform a urine test for the presence of bacteria causing a UTI. If diagnosed, you will need to be treated with antibiotics again. Also, it will also be wise to consider being examined by a specialist to determine what is causing you to have repeated urinary tract infections. Please discuss this with your primary care wishes you a speedy recovery.


Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: I went to the Doctor (before this answer) and was treated with strong antibiotics for a severe UTI/Kidney infection. I think because I get the UTIs so often I’m used to the symptoms and ignored it until the pain got unbearable. All clear now, no odor. Thanks!


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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