Purple Urine Bag Syndrome (PUBS)

Urinary drainage bag with purple colour from purple urine bag syndrome

See the purple tinge?

Sometimes there is a purple tinge to the urostomy pouch, leg bag or night drainage bottle. This happens when a certain type of bacteria is in the urine. It creates a red and blue by-product as it goes through its day. This causes the purple colour in the pouch.

Managing PUBS

Having PUBS does not mean you have an infection. There are some ways you can reduce the likelihood of developing PUBS:

  • Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin C – alkaline urine makes PUBS more likely
  • Make sure you’re eating enough fiber and drinking lots of fluids – constipation can lead to PUBS
  • Clean your night drainage bottle and tubing thoroughly, as well as leg bags – the more bacteria there are, the more likely PUBS will develop

Signs of urinary tract infection

If you do have an infection, you need antibiotics to help kill the bacteria. Signs of urinary tract infection (UTI) are:

  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine and/or increased mucus
  • Feeling unwell

Signs of serious infection requiring immediate care

If you have:

  • Fever and chills
  • Back pain with other symptoms of infection

See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.