Nitrofurantoin (By mouth)
Treats or prevents urinary tract infections caused by bacteria. Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nitrofurantoin or if you are in your last few weeks of pregnancy (week 38 or later). You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney disease, a decreased amount of urine, or are unable to urinate. You should not use this medicine if you had liver problems after using it before. Do not give this medicine to infants younger than 1 month of age.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using probenecid (Benemid®) or sulfinpyrazone (Anturane®).
- It is best not to use antacids containing magnesium trisilicate (such as Genaton®) while you are using nitrofurantoin.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, anemia, diabetes, a mineral imbalance in the blood, vitamin B deficiency, or a blood condition called G6PD-deficiency.
- This medicine may cause your urine to become brown-colored. This is normal and will not affect how the medicine works.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.
- Use this medicine only to treat the infection you now have.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
- Your doctor will need to check your urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Cough, fever, chills, weakness, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Severe and watery diarrhea that may contain blood.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dizziness, headache, or blurred vision.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite.
- Temporary hair loss.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013