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- Nitrofurantoin vs. amoxicillin: What's the difference?
- What are nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
- What are the side effects of nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
- What is the dosage of nitrofurantoin vs. amoxicillin?
- What drugs interact with nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
- Are nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Nitrofurantoin vs. amoxicillin: What's the difference?
- Nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin are antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Amoxicillin is also used to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), and skin. It is also used to treat gonorrhea.
- Brand names of nitrofurantoin include Macrobid, Macrodantin, and Furadantin.
- A brand name of amoxicillin is Moxatag.
- Side effects of nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin that are similar include rash, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
- Side effects of nitrofurantoin that are different from amoxicillin include headache, change in urine color, and loss of appetite.
- Side effects of amoxicillin that are different from nitrofurantoin include dizziness, heartburn, insomnia, confusion, easy bruising, bleeding, and allergic reactions.
What are nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic specially used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by a number of types of bacteria such as E. Coli, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Enterobacter cystitis, and Staphylococcus aureus. It interferes with the production of bacterial proteins, DNA, and cell walls. Bacteria are unable to survive without a cell wall or to multiply without DNA. There are three forms of nitrofurantoin available: Furadantin, a microcrystalline form; Macrodantin, a macrocrystalline; and Macrobid, a sustained release form of macrocrystalline used twice daily. The macrocrystalline form is absorbed more slowly than the microcrystalline form and is useful for individuals who cannot tolerate the microcrystalline form.
Amoxicillin is a penicillin-type antibiotic, a drug class that also includes ampicillin (Unasyn), piperacillin (Pipracil), ticarcillin (Ticar), and others. Penicillin-type antibiotics all do not directly kill bacteria, but they stop bacteria from multiplying by preventing them from forming the walls that surround them. Bacteria cannot survive without a cell wall, which protects the bacteria from their environment and keeps the contents of the bacterial cell together. Amoxicillin is effective against many different bacteria including H. influenzae, N. gonorrhoea, E. coli, Pneumococci, Streptococci, and certain strains of Staphylococci. Amoxicillin is used to treat infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), urinary tract, and skin. It is also used to treat gonorrhea.
What are the side effects of nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
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.
Treatment with nitrofurantoin can cause urine to change color to a dark yellow or brown.
Side effects due to amoxicillin include:
- Abdominal pain
- Easy bruising
- Allergic reactions
People who are allergic to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, which are related to the penicillins, for example, cefaclor (Ceclor), cephalexin (Keflex), and cefprozil (Cefzil), may or may not be allergic to penicillins.
Serious but rare reactions include:
- Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
- Low platelet (thrombocytopenia) or red blood cell count
Amoxicillin can alter the normal bacteria in the colon and encourage overgrowth of some bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, which causes inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis). Patients who develop signs of pseudomembranous colitis after starting amoxicillin (diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and possibly shock) should contact their doctor immediately.
What is the dosage of nitrofurantoin vs. amoxicillin?
- 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.
- For most infections in adults, the dose of amoxicillin is 250 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 8 hours, 500 mg every 12 hours or 875 mg every 12 hours, depending on the type and severity of infection.
- For the treatment of adults with gonorrhea, the dose is 3 g given as one dose.
- For most infections, children older than 3 months but less than 40 kg are treated with 25 or 45 mg/kg/day in divided doses every 12 hours or 20 or 40 mg/kg/day with one-third of the daily dose given every 8 hours depending on the type and severity of the infection.
- Amoxicillin can be taken with or without food.
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What drugs interact with nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin?
- 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.
Amoxicillin is rarely associated with important drug interactions.
Are nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin safe to use while pregnant or 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.
Penicillins are generally considered safe for use by pregnant women who are not allergic to penicillin.
Small amounts of amoxicillin may be excreted in breast milk and may cause diarrhea or allergic responses in nursing infants. Amoxicillin is generally considered safe to use while breastfeeding. Amoxicillin is used to treat infections in the newborn.
Nitrofurantoin and amoxicillin are antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Amoxicillin is also used to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear, tonsils, throat, larynx (laryngitis), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs (pneumonia), and skin. It is also used to treat gonorrhea.
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Related Disease Conditions
Inner Ear Infection
An inner ear infection or otitis interna is caused by viruses or bacteria and can occur in both adults and children. An inner ear infection can cause symptoms and signs, for example, a severe ear, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, and vertigo. An inner ear infection also may cause inflammation of the inner ear or labyrinthitis. Inner ear infections are not contagious; however, the bacteria and viruses that cause the infection can be transmitted to other people. Good hygiene practices will help decrease the chances of the infection spreading to others. Inner ear infection symptoms and signs like ear pain and nausea may be relieved with home remedies or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Some inner ear infections will need to be treated and cured with antibiotics or prescription pain or antinausea medication.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (vocal cords). The most common cause of acute laryngitis is an infection, which inflames the vocal cords. Symptoms may vary from the degree of laryngitis and age of the person (laryngitis in infants and children is more commonly caused by croup).
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.
Staph (Staphylococcus) Infection
Staphylococcus or staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly by the toxins they produce. Symptoms and signs of a staph infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage of pus. Minor skin infections are treated with an antibiotic ointment, while more serious infections are treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood. Tonsillitis can be caused by acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from 1-2 weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years. Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, saltwater gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy).
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge, burning or frequent urination, and redness, swelling, burning, and itching of the vaginal area. Gonorrhea can be treated with injectable (penicillin) or oral medications.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
A middle ear infection (otitis media) can cause earache, temporary hearing loss, and pus drainage from the ear. It is most common in babies, toddlers, and young children. Learn about causes and treatment.
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and fever. Strep throat symptoms in infants and children are different than in adults. Strep throat is contagious and is generally passed from person to person. Treatment for strep throat symptoms includes home remedies and OTC medication; however, the only cure for strep throat are antibiotics.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is short in duration (10-20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
Second Source article from Government
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.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Urinary Tract Infection FAQs
- Pneumonia FAQs
- Strep Streptococcal Throat Infection FAQs
- Ear Infection FAQs
- Bronchitis FAQs
- How Do You Get Staph Infection?
- What Causes an Ear Infection?
- How Do You Get an Ear Infection?
- How to Get Rid of a Staph Infection
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms
- Strep Throat Symptoms
- Pneumonia Symptoms
- E. coli Infection Facts
- Pneumonia Treatment
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Treatment
- Acute Bronchitis: How Long Do Symptoms Last?
Medications & Supplements
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil) vs. Doxycycline (Vibramycin)
- Penicillin (Antibiotics)
- Amoxicillin vs. Levaquin
- nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin, Macrobid)
- Amoxicillin vs. Cipro
- Amoxicillin vs. Ceftin
- Amoxicillin vs. Augmentin (Comparison of Side Effects and Antibiotic Uses)
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Ciprofloxacin
- Amoxicillin vs. Ceftriaxone
- Amoxicillin vs. Ampicillin
- Amoxicillin vs. Penicillin
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Bactrim
- Nitrofurantoin vs. Cephalexin
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