Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used to treat or prevent certain bladder infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections (e.g., common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.
Dosage and direction
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. For children, the dosage is also based on the body weight.
Take each dose with a full glass of water. Take nitrofurantoin with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor’s advice.
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms. Drink several glasses of water a day. If you are taking this medicine for a long time, visit your doctor for regular checks on your progress.
If you are diabetic, you may get a false positive result for sugar in your urine with certain brands of urine tests. Check with your doctor.
You should not take nitrofurantoin if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe kidney disease, urination problems, or a history of jaundice or liver problems caused by nitrofurantoin. Do not take nitrofurantoin if you are in the last 2 to 4 weeks of pregnancy.
Before you take nitrofurantoin, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, an electrolyte imbalance or vitamin B deficiency, a genetic enzyme deficiency, or any type of debilitating disease.
Possible 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. Stop using nitrofurantoin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
shortness of breath, running out of breath easily;
sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
fever, chills, body aches, unexplained weight loss;
peripheral neuropathy – numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
pale skin, easy bruising, confusion or weakness;
patchy skin color, red spots, or a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
severe headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.
Less serious side effects may include:
upset stomach, vomiting;
rust-colored or brownish urine; or
vaginal itching or discharge.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
magnesium salicylate (Nuprin Backache, Doan’s Pills);
choline magnesium salicylate (Tricosal, Trilisate); or
probenecid (Benemid) or other gout medications.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with nitrofurantoin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Do not share this medication with others. This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from moisture and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information at the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. The specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.