This information will help you test the pH level of your urine (pee) at home while you’re getting methotrexate (MEH-thoh-TREK-sayt). In this resource, the word “you” refers to you or your child.
About Your Urine pH Level
Methotrexate can lower your urine’s pH level. pH levels range from 0 to 14. The best pH level of your urine while you’re taking methotrexate is 7 or higher. If your urine pH is too low for too long, it can damage your kidneys.
Your care team will test your urine pH level while you’re in the hospital. If it’s too low, they’ll give you medications or fluids to help raise it. This can help prevent long-term kidney damage. You’ll get the medication or fluid intravenously (into your vein, called an IV).
How To Test Your Urine pH Level at Home
You will need to keep testing your urine pH level at home every time you urinate (pee). Your healthcare provider will tell you how long to do this.
Your care team will give you supplies, or home care will send them to you. You’ll need:
- A clean, dry urine container (also called a “hat” or urinal) to save your urine (see Figure 1).
- Plastic or paper pH strips (see Figure 2). Each type works the same way.
- Disposable medical gloves, especially if you’re helping test someone else’s urine.
- A clean, dry paper towel or disposable waterproof plastic pad.
- A trash can.
You can buy these supplies at your local drug store if you need more.
- Clean and dry your hands.
- Set up your supplies on a clean, flat surface. If you have pre-cut pH test strips, take out 1 strip. For pH strips a roll, rip off a piece long enough to dip into the urine.
- Pee into the clean, dry urine container. Do not test urine from the toilet bowl. The pH reading will be wrong.
- Put on the gloves. Dip the end of your pH test strip into the urine. The test strip will change colors. If you’re using a plastic test strip, make sure the whole pH square is in the urine.
- Hold the test strip up to the pH indicator on the pH strip package or container. Compare the color of the pH strip to the indicator to find your urine pH level.
- Write down your pH level and the time you did the test. You can use a pH log, notebook, or notes app on your phone.
- Pour the rest of the a urine in the urine container into the toilet, then flush.
- Rinse the container with warm water. Let it dry before you use it again.
- Wrap the used pH test strip in the paper towel or pad. Throw it away into the trash.
- Wash your hands.
- Store your unused pH strips in a cool, dry place until your next pH test.
What do I do after getting my urine pH test results?
If your urine pH is less than 7, you may need to take more medication. This may be more of the same medication, a different medication, or both. Follow the instructions your healthcare provider gave you based on your urine pH level.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Call your healthcare provider if:
- You have been awake and have not been able to pee for 4 hours.
- You have questions or concerns.