What is nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body.

Nitrofurantoin is used to treat urinary tract infections.

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

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nitrofurantoin, or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease;
  • a history of jaundice or liver problems caused by taking nitrofurantoin;
  • if you are urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • if you are in the last 2 to 4 weeks of pregnancy.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before taking nitrofurantoin, tell your doctor if you have:

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

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, unless it is used during the last 2 to 4 weeks of pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Nitrofurantoin passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

Do not give nitrofurantoin to a child younger than 12 years old.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor’s advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb nitrofurantoin.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea or vomiting.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • shortness of breath, running out of breath easily;
  • fever, chills, cough, chest pain;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pale skin, easy bruising, confusion or weakness;
  • numbness or tingling; or
  • headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;

Less serious side effects may include:

  • rust-colored or brownish urine;
  • headache;
  • upset stomach, vomiting;
  • bloating or gas, constipation;
  • feeling dizzy or drowsy;
  • blurred vision; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

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.

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Interactions

Before taking nitrofurantoin, tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • magnesium salicylate (Doan's Pills, Mobidin, Momentum);
  • choline magnesium salicylate (Tricosal, Trilisate);
  • probenecid (Benemid); or
  • sulfinpyrazone (Anturane).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with nitrofurantoin. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Furadantin, Macrobid, Macrodantin, Nitro Macro, and nitrofurantoin

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Disclaimer

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.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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