What is Nitrofurantoin?
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). An uncomplicated UTI may involve the bladder but does not involve the kidneys. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria travelling up the urethra and into the bladder.
How does Nitrofurantoin work?
Nitrofurantoin works by concentrating in the bladder, killing bacteria which have entered the bladder through the urethra and multiplied. At lower concentrations nitrofurantoin is generally bacteriostatic, meaning it stops bacteria from reproducing, At higher concentrations Nitrofurantoin is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria.
How long does it take for Nitrofurantoin to work?
Nitrofurantoin takes effect within days to stop bacteria from multiplying. For uncomplicated urinary tract infections, a 3 to 7 day course may be prescribed. Nitrofurantoin can also be used to prevent UTIs in patients with recurrent infections. Used for prevention, it may be prescribed daily for several months. Ultimately, your doctor will decide the appropriate duration of treatment.
Does Nitrofurantoin treat kidney infections?
Nitrofurantoin is not appropriate for treatment of kidney infections. Although it may have some effect, your doctor is likely to prescribe an alternative, better suited antibiotic for this purpose.