Coloured urine

Last updated: Wednesday, 24, November, 2010
Key InformationAppropriate Tests

Nature of substance may be clear from clinical assessment, including diet and drug history.

Urinalysis is positive (for blood) in haematuria, haemoglobinuria and myoglobinuria.

Food, food dyes, drugs, including

History of ingestion of relevant foods, drugs. Colour change with addition of acid/alkali to urine.
  • Beetroot
  • Riboflavin
  • Rifampicin
  • Phenolphthalein (purgatives)


Urine microscopy.


Exclude haematuria by urine microscopy. Haemoglobin - urine, haemosiderin.


Myoglobin - urine.


Red colour may appear only if urine is left standing.

Melanoma (advanced)

Urine may darken only if left standing.


Urine darkens if left standing. Homogenistic acid - urine.