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Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract

Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract


Decreased urine output is defined as producing less than 500 milliliters of urine in 24 hours.

Alternative Names:



Although a significant decrease in urine output may indicate a serious, even life-threatening condition, adequate urine output can be restored with prompt medical treatment.

Common Causes:
  • Dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, or fever,¬†with a lack of adequate fluid intake
  • Total urinary tract obstruction, such as may result from an enlarged prostate
  • Severe infection leading to shock
  • Drugs such as anticholinergics, methotrexate, and diuretics

Home Care:

Follow prescribed fluid regimens and measure urine output as directed.

Call your health care provider if:

Contact your health care provider if you have:

  • A noticeable and consistent decrease in urine output
  • Vomiting , diarrhea, or high fever and are unable to replace fluids by mouth
  • A decrease in urine output associated with dizziness, lightheadedness, or rapid pulse

What to expect at your health care provider's office:

The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • Time pattern
    • When did this begin?
    • Did it occur suddenly?
    • Has it rapidly become worse?
  • Quality
    • How much fluid is consumed each day?
    • How much urine is produced each day?
    • What color is the urine?
  • Aggravating factors
    • Has there been fever ?
    • Has there been diarrhea?
    • Has there been vomiting? With or without nausea?
    • Is thirst decreased?
  • Other
    • Does increasing fluid intake increase urine output?
    • What other symptoms do you have?
    • What medications do you take?
    • Do you have any allergies?
    • Do you have access to adequate fluids?
  • Past history
    • Have you had any recent injuries such as burns?
    • Have you been sick?
    • Do you have a previous problem with the kidneys or bladder?

Tests that may be done include:



Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004.

Wein AJ. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007.

Review Date: 7/23/2007
Reviewed By: Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100