Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that we prescribe to treat a UTI. It clears up the infection and soothes the symptoms quickly. Get access to this treatment by filling out a quick consultation form on our website. One of our doctors will review it before issuing your treatment for home delivery.
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Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic treatment that is used to clear up a urinary tract infection. UTIs are common in women and are caused by bacteria travelling up the urethra and into the bladder.
Nitrofurantoin is directed to the bladder as soon as you take it. The antibiotic works to kill off the bacteria which have entered the bladder and multiplied, clearing the infection and preventing it from recurring. It's important to complete the course of antibiotics to make sure this happens, otherwise the bacteria can continue to grow and trigger your symptoms again.
You will usually start to feel better within a few days of taking Nitrofurantoin. It might take up to a week to fully treat a UTI so always take it exactly as your doctor has instructed.
Nitrofurantoin is not specifically designed for the treatment of a kidney infection. Although it may provide some relief, your doctor is likely to issue you with something that will be better suited.
Each capsule contains 50 or 100mg of Nitrofurantoin as the active ingredient.
The additional ingredients in the medication are lactose, maize starch, pregelatinised maize starch, sodium starch glycollate and magnesium stearate. (The inactive ingredients may vary between different manufacturers).
To treat a UTI you'll usually take 200mg of Nitrofurantoin each day. This might be in the format of 2-4 pills daily. Space these out evenly throughout the day; taking one in the morning and one 12 hours later in the evening. If the dose is split into 4 tablets then you should take these every 3-4 hours. Always take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed.
Nitrofurantoin should be taken as soon as possible after noticing symptoms.
Always finish the course of Nitrofurantoin that you have been prescribed. If you stop the treatment early then you are likely to experience a recurring UTI as the bacteria may still be present.
Taking one too many Nitrofurantoin pills shouldn't cause you any harm but if you've taken more than two seek medical attention.
Side Effects commonly include:
Serious side effects which require attention from a doctor include:
A weak, numb or tingling feeling in the muscles or joints
Yellowed skin (jaundice)
Coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath
Fever or chills
Unexplained bruising or bleeding and feeling generally unwell
A severe headache
Tell your doctor if any of the following circumstances apply to you:
You have ever had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients or to similar medicines
You have porphyria
You have something called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
You are diabetic
You have severe kidney disease
You are anemic
You are deficient in vitamin B
You have severe weakness due to a medical condition
Your doctor will be able to assess if Nitrofurantoin is suitable for you.
Certain medications may interact with Nitrofurantoin. Tell your doctor if you are taking:
Medication for gout
Any over-the-counter UTI remedies
A UTI can be incredibly uncomfortable and cause inconvenience to your daily life. If you are prone to them you can try to implement these preventative steps:
Drink lots of water
Wipe from front to back after going to the toilet
Always urinate after sexual intercourse
Avoid using contraception with spermicide
Avoid perfumed washes and perfumed sanitary products
Macrobid and Nitrofurantoin are essentially the same thing. Nitrofurantoin is the generic name for the medicine while Macrobid is a brand name of it.
Alternative Treatments for a UTI include:
Cranberry juice is often marketed as being helpful for a UTI due to the antioxidant effects of the fruit. Despite this, they may not make much difference as there is no definitive evidence that it helps.
If you take Nitrofurantoin for longer than the standard length of treatment, this makes you more likely to get a yeast infection. This happens because the antibiotic kills off the bacteria which would normally stop a yeast infection from growing.
You can still drink alcohol while you are taking Nitrofurantoin.
Nitrofurantoin is safe for pregnant women to take.
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic specifically used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Nitrofurantoin is generally effective when the UTI is caused by certain strains of E. coli, enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus, and some strains of Klebsiella and Enterobacter species.
Nitrofurantoin is not indicated for treatment of STIs. If you suspect that you may have a sexually transmitted infection, you should see your doctor for evaluation and treatment to ensure proper treatment for the specific infection.
Nitrofurantoin is not used to treat kidney infections such as pyelonephritis or perinephric abscesses. Nitrofurantoin is only indicated for treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
Alcohol does not directly affect the efficacy of Nitrofurantoin. It is generally safe to drink alcohol in moderation while taking Nitrofurantoin. However, alcohol has been shown to intensify some of the side effects of Nitrofurantoin. You should talk to your doctor about alcohol use if you are prescribed Nitrofurantoin. Even though alcohol may not directly affect Nitrofurantoin, it is recommended to avoid alcohol if you have a urinary tract infection. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can make it more difficult to treat your infection.
Nitrofurantoin is safe during pregnancy. It is rated pregnancy category B. This means that there was not a risk to the fetus in animal reproduction studies that have been completed. There have not been any well controlled studies with pregnant women.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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“DailyMed - NITROFURANTION- Nitrofurantion Capsule” (U.S. National Library of Medicine) <https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=ad020393-1c97-49da-b0f3-d6a9359fb73d> accessed July 27, 2019
“FDA Pregnancy Categories - CHEMM” (U.S. National Library of Medicine) <https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/pregnancycategories.htm> accessed July 27, 2019
Ghouri F, Hollywood A and Ryan K, “A Systematic Review of Non-Antibiotic Measures for the Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Pregnancy” (2018) 18 BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Nicolle LE, “Cranberry for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infection?” (2016) 316 Jama 1873
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