Cystex is an over-the-counter pain reliever meant to alleviate the painful and uncomfortable symptoms of urinary tract infections, while also inhibiting the progression of the infection itself. The product combines a strong analgesic to block pain with an antibacterial to keep the infection under control.


The tablets contain 162.5mg of sodium salicylate, a pain relieving agent, and 162mg of methenamine, an antibacterial agent to control the spread of infection. Inactive ingredients include:

  • Benzoic Acid
  • Cellulose
  • Croscarmellose Sodium
  • Edible black ink
  • FD&C Red #40 Lake
  • FD&C Yellow #6 Lake
  • Hydroxypropyl Cellulose
  • Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Methacrylic Acid-Ethyl Acrylate Copolymer
  • Silica
  • Stearic Acid
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Triethyl Citrate

Each tablet contains 23.7mg of sodium total.


For adults and children 12 years and older, the recommended dosage is two tablets, three times per day with a full glass of water, and additional fluids throughout the day. It should not be taken past a third consecutive day without consulting a doctor. Anyone recovering from chicken pox should not take this medicine, and it should not be taken in conjunction with other NSAID pain relievers, or by anyone allergic to salicylates, or who suffer from stomach ulcers. Anyone age 60 or older should consult a doctor before use, as should anyone with high blood pressure, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Possible Side Effects

Prescribed use can cause stomach pain, or stomach bleeding in rare cases. The high sodium content may cause dehydration, which can be made worse if you have taken a diuretic or consume alcohol. In rare instances, the main active ingredient, sodium salicylate, can cause a rash, nausea, and heartburn. Methenamine can also cause upset stomach and vomiting. Many of the binding agents and inactive ingredients are also known to cause stomach upset.


Cystex is available at a large number of stores throughout the country, including Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and Harris Teeter, as well as through Amazon and other online pharmacies. Online it can be found for as low as $8.40. It is not a part of any promotions, although it may be in stores, but there is a coupon for $2 off available through the manufacturer’s website.


There is no manufacturer’s guarantee, but the large number of store locations where this product is available, and the predominantly positive reviews lead us to believe this product is effective even without a guarantee. However, if you do experience negative side effects or ineffectiveness, it isn’t clear if you would be able to return the product for a refund.


This product has overwhelmingly positive reviews and has the benefit of both controlling pain and infection until you can get to a doctor, where many similar products only address the symptoms rather than the infection itself. When purchased with the company coupon, this is an especially cost-effective way to control urinary tract infection symptoms in the short term. This medication can’t be taken with other NSAIDs though, which makes it unsuitable for those taking blood thinners, or who are taking any other pain relievers. Also, the high number of ingredients that can cause upset stomach make it likely that if you have a sensitive stomach, you may experience some discomfort with this product. This product also has a high number of inactive ingredients.

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