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nitrofurantoin (Furadantin, Macrobid, Macrodantin)

Brand Names: Furadantin, Macrobid, Macrodantin, Nitro Macro

Generic Name: nitrofurantoin

What is nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that is used to treat urinary tract infections caused by bacteria.

Nitrofurantoin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of nitrofurantoin?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody (even if it occurs months after your last dose);
  • vision problems;
  • fever, chills, cough, chest pain, trouble breathing;
  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;
  • severe pain behind your eyes;
  • pale skin, weakness;
  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, and muscle aches;
  • pain, redness, or swelling in your lower jaw;
  • increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes; or
  • signs of liver or pancreas problems--upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea or vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness;
  • gas, indigestion, loss of appetite;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • muscle or joint pain;
  • rash, itching; or
  • temporary hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about nitrofurantoin?

You should not take nitrofurantoin if you have severe kidney disease, urination problems, or a history of jaundice or liver problems caused by nitrofurantoin.

Do not take nitrofurantoin during late pregnancy (from 38 weeks through delivery).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nitrofurantoin?

You should not take nitrofurantoin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease;
  • urination problems (little or no urination); or
  • a history of jaundice or liver problems caused by taking nitrofurantoin.

Do not take nitrofurantoin during late pregnancy (from 38 weeks through delivery).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;
  • anemia;
  • diabetes;
  • an electrolyte imbalance or vitamin B deficiency;
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency; or
  • any type of debilitating disease.

You should not breastfeed a baby younger than 1 month old while you are taking nitrofurantoin.

Nitrofurantoin should not be given to a child younger than 1 month old.

How should I take nitrofurantoin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take nitrofurantoin with food, even if you take it at bedtime.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

You may need to keep taking nitrofurantoin for up to 7 days after lab tests show that the infection has cleared. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Nitrofurantoin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using nitrofurantoin.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze the liquid medicine, and keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use. Throw away any nitrofurantoin liquid that has not been used within 30 days.

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What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can cause vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking nitrofurantoin?

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.

Avoid taking an antacid that contains magnesium trisilicate, which could make it harder for your body to absorb nitrofurantoin.

What other drugs will affect nitrofurantoin?

Other drugs may affect nitrofurantoin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about nitrofurantoin.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 2/6/2020

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