- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: nitrofurantoin
Brand Names: Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid
Drug Class: Antibiotics, Other
What is nitrofurantoin, and what is it used for?
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that is used for treating urinary tract infections caused by several types of bacteria. It is effective against E. Coli, Enterobacter cystitis, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, and Staphylococcus aureus. Nitrofurantoin interferes with the production of bacterial proteins, DNA, and cell walls. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall or multiply without DNA.
Three forms of nitrofurnatoin are available:
- Furadantin, a microcrystalline form,
- Macrodantin, a macrocrystalline, and
- Macrobid, a sustained release form of macrocrystalline used twice daily.
The macrocrystalline form is more slowly absorbed than the microcrystalline form and is useful for patients who cannot tolerate the microcrystalline form.
What are the side effects of nitrofurantoin?
- Common side effects of nitrofurantoin include:
- The macrocrystalline form (Macrodantin) appears to cause less stomach upset. Stomach upset also can be minimized by using a lower dose or by taking nitrofurantoin with food or milk.
- Possible serious side effects include:
- Nitrofurantoin can cause serious lung injury. The reaction can occur within hours of the start of treatment if the patient has previously received nitrofurantoin, or within a few days of starting nitrofurantoin for the first time. Symptoms include:
- In other persons, lung injury may occur after approximately a month of treatment. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Fortunately, the symptoms usually resolve within a week if the medication is stopped. In other individuals, lung injury may not develop until after several months or years of therapy. Unless it is recognized and treated, this delayed lung injury can result in permanent lung damage that remains even after the drug is stopped.
- Nitrofurantoin can also cause damage to the sensory nerves of the arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy), which can cause tingling in the extremities. The condition can become severe and is more likely to occur in people with diabetes, vitamin B deficiency, or general debilitation.
- Reduced red blood cell count (anemia) by breaking red blood cells (hemolytic anemia) can occur from nitrofurantoin. This reaction occurs most frequently in persons with a deficiency of an enzyme called glucose--6-phosphate dehydrogenase that is very important to the survival of red blood cells.
- Nitrofurantoin also can cause liver damage leading to jaundice or a form of hepatitis that can be fatal. Elevated liver enzymes indicate liver damage and are a reason to stop the drug.
- Treatment with nitrofurantoin can cause urine to change color to a dark yellow or brown.
What is the dosage for nitrofurantoin?
- The recommended adult dose for treating urinary tract infections is 50-100 mg 4 times daily (Macrodantin, Furadantin) or 100 mg every 12 hours (Macrobid) for 7 days or for 3 days after obtaining sterile urine.
- Nitrofurantoin can be taken with or without meals. Taking it with meals increases its absorption into the body.
- The suspension can be mixed with water, milk, juice, or infant formula.
- It also is used once a day (or in some children, twice daily) to prevent urinary tract infections.
- It should not be used in persons with poor kidney function.
Which drugs interact with nitrofurantoin?
- High doses of probenecid (Benemid) or sulfinpyrazone (Anturane) can partially block the kidneys' elimination of nitrofurantoin. This can increase the blood concentrations of nitrofurantoin and the risk of toxicity from nitrofurantoin.
- Concomitant administration of a magnesium trisilicate antacid may decrease the absorption of nitrofurantoin, reducing the effectiveness of nitrofurantoin.
- Nitrofurantoin may reduce the activity of live tuberculosis vaccine (BCG vaccine) and live typhoid vaccine. In laboratory tests, nitrofurantoin reduced the effect of quinolone antibiotics, for example, norfloxacin (Noroxin). Therefore, nitrofurantoin should not be combined with quinolone antibiotics.
Is nitrofurantoin safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- Although there are no adequate studies of nitrofurantoin in pregnant women, many women have safely used it during pregnancy. However, nitrofurantoin should not be used near the time of delivery (38-42 weeks gestation) since it interferes with the immature enzyme systems in the red blood cells of newborns, damaging the cells and resulting in anemia.
- Nitrofurantoin is distributed into breast milk and should be used with caution in women who are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about nitrofurantoin?
Do I need a prescription for nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin, Furadantin)?
What preparations of nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin, Furadantin) are available?
- Capsules: 25, 50, 75, and 100 mg.
- Oral suspension: 25 mg/5 ml.
How should I keep nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin, Furadantin) stored?
- All formulations should be kept at room temperature, 15 C TO 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
When was nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Macrodantin, Furadantin) approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved nitrofurantoin in 1953.
Nitrofurantoin is a drug available in three forms prescribed for the treatment or prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Common side effects include loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and rash. Review warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking any medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases, for example, gallstones, high cholesterol or triglycerides, blood flow obstruction to the liver, and toxins (medications and chemicals). Symptoms of liver disease depends upon the cause and may include nausea, vomiting, upper right abdominal pain, and jaundice. Treatment depends upon the cause of the liver disease.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the bowel and near the anus, causes most UTIs. UTI symptoms include pain, abdominal pain, mild fever, urinary urgency, and frequency. Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
How Long Does It Take a UTI to Turn Into a Kidney Infection?
Failing to treat a urinary tract infection can lead to serious health problems, including kidney infections. If you have lingering symptoms, or recurrent UTIs, it is important to see your medical provider.
How Long Should a UTI Last After Antibiotics?
Depending on the severity of your UTI, you may need to take a 3-day, 7-day or even 2-week course of antibiotics. Since the bacteria causing your UTI can stay in your body even after symptoms are gone, it’s important to finish your entire course of antibiotics.
Can You Flush Out a UTI With Water?
Patients with urinary tract infection (UTI) are usually advised to drink six to eight glasses (1.5 to 2 liters) of water every day to flush the infection out of the urinary system.
Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?
Bacteria such as E. coli or Pseudomonas can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). The incubation period for a UTI ranges from three to eight days.
What Does the Beginning of a UTI Feel Like?
Learn the symptoms seen in the early stages of a UTI below, which include a burning sensation during urination and pain in the lower abdomen.
How Do You Know if a UTI Has Spread to Your Kidneys?
A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract. Signs that a UTI has spread to the kidneys include chills, high fever, nausea, and vomiting, and other signs.
How Can I Treat a UTI While Pregnant Without Antibiotics?
What is a UTI? Learn what other treatments aside from antibiotics can help to relieve your UTI symptoms while pregnant.
E. coli (0157:H7) Infection
There are many types of E. coli (Escherichia coli). E. coli can cause urinary tract and bladder infections, or lead to sepsis. E coli O157:H7 (EHEC) causes bloody diarrhea and colitis. Complications of E. coli infection include hemorrhagic diarrhea, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. E coli O157:H7 commonly is due to eating raw or undercooked hamburger or raw milk or dairy products.
Is E. coli Contagious? (Symptoms and Cure)
E. coli is an infection found worldwide. There are several subtypes of the E. coli species. E. coli spreads from person to person via contaminated food or water. Symptoms and signs of E. coli infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes fever. Antibiotics treat E. coli infection.
Can You Get Rid of a UTI By Drinking Water?
UTI stands for urinary tract infection and it describes when your urinary system gets infected. While the effects of drinking water to flush out or get rid of UTIs is not proven, there has been a link between drinking over 2.2 liters of water daily and a decreased risk for UTIs.
Can UTI Symptoms Linger After Antibiotics?
Sometimes, UTI symptoms can linger even after antibiotic therapy. Reasons for this may be that your UTI is caused by an antibiotic-resistance strain of bacteria or caused by another type of bacteria, or you may have another condition entirely that causes UTI-like symptoms.
Yeast Infection vs. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Candida albicans typically causes vaginal yeast infections. Bacterial infections typically cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). Thick white cottage-cheese like vaginal discharge characterizes vaginal yeast infections. Painful, frequent urination characterize urinary tract infections. Antifungal medications treat yeast infections while prescription antibiotics treat UTIs.
Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and abdominal pain. Associated symptoms and signs include flank pain, vomiting, and blood in the urine. Treatment for a UTI involves antibiotic therapy.
Can UTI Go Away by Itself?
Urinary tract infection, or UTI, is caused by the bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system, including kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Symptoms typically include an increased urge to urinate with or without pain in the side and lower back. It is more common in women than in men because the urethra of females is shorter and closer to the anus.
How Does a Woman Get a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur more frequently in women because they have a shorter urethra, making it easier for bacteria from the anus to travel to the area.
What Is the Best Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection?
In most cases, the best treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI) is a course of antibiotics. Which antibiotics are prescribed depend on the type of bacteria responsible.
Enterovirulent E. coli (EEC)
Enterovirulent Escherichia coli (E. coli) are strains of related bacteria that have a strong propensity to cause gastrointestinal tract infections. Examples of strains include: EHEC (enterohemorrhagic E. coli), ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli), EPEC (enteropathogenic E. coli), EIEC (enteroinvasive E. coli), EAEC (enteroadherent E. coli), and EAggEC (enteroaggregative E. coli). Symptoms may vary depending on the strain the individual contracts. Infection is spread generally through contaminated food or drink.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Urinary Tract Infection?
E. coli bacteria are the most common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI).
Urinary Tract Infection or Urinary Infection
The urinary system of your body includes two kidneys, two tubes (ureters), a urine sac (bladder) and an opening to expel the urine from the body (urethra). An infection of this system due to germs is called a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI may be treated with antibiotics, especially if a kidney infection is involved.
How Do You Know if You Have a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections can occur in both women and men. Learn the signs of urinary tract infection, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
How Do You Get Rid of a UTI at Home?
What is a UTI? Learn whether you need antibiotics and what other home remedies can help to relieve your symptoms.
Can You Get UTI Antibiotics Over the Counter?
Currently, no urinary tract infection (UTI) antibiotics are available over the counter (OTC) in the United States. A person must consult a doctor to get the UTI treated with an antibiotic.
How Do You Get Rid of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Learn what medical treatments can help treat your urinary tract infection symptoms and help you manage this condition.
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection in a Child?
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