Nitrofurantoin Capsules or Tablets

What is this medication?

NITROFURANTOIN (nye troe fyoor AN toyn) treats urinary tract infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Macrobid, Macrodantin, Urotoin

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Other chronic illness
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to nitrofurantoin, other antibiotics, other medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medication with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Antacids containing magnesium trisilicate
  • Probenecid
  • Quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin
  • Sulfinpyrazone

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve or if you get new symptoms. Drink several glasses of water a day. If you are taking this medication for a long time, visit your care team 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 care team.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Dry cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Low red blood cell count—unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness, headache, trouble breathing
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • Severe diarrhea, fever
  • Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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