GENERIC NAME: Nitrofurantoin Macrocrystal

COMMON BRANDS: Macrodantin, Macrobid, Furadantin, Nitro Macro

Nitrofurantoin comes under the class of drugs known as antimicrobials or antibiotics. Nitrofurantoin is a prescription drug that comes as an oral capsule and an oral suspension. Nitrofurantoin is used for treatment and prevention urinary tract infections (UTI) which are caused by specific types of bacteria.

Nitrofurantoin oral capsule is available by the brand-name drugs Macrobid and Macrodantin. It also comes as a generic drug. The generic drug may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drug.

What is the drug Nitrofurantoin used for?

This medication is used for the treatment or prevention of certain urinary tract infections.

This medication is an antibiotic that acts by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. It is inactive against viral infections (for example common cold, flu). Unwanted use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its reduced effectiveness.

Avoid use of nitrofurantoin in children under one month of age due to the risk of some blood problem like hemolytic anemia.

How to use Nitrofurantoin?

Take this medication orally, with meat or milk, as directed by your doctor/physician. This medication is typically taken four times a day to treat an infection or once a day at bedtime to counter infections. Swallow the medication whole. Magnesium trisilicate-containing antacids must be avoided while using this medication. Magnesium trisilicate-containing antacids bind with nitrofurantoin which prevents its complete absorption.

Dosage and duration depend on medical condition and response to therapy. For children, the dosage also depends on body weight.

Take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times for the best effect. To remember, it is best to take this medication at the same time(s) every day.

When taking this medication for preventing infection, take it exactly as instructed by your doctor/physician. Do not skip or stop taking your dose without your doctor’s approval. Inform your doctor if you observe symptoms of any new urinary tract infection (for example pain during urination).

If you are using this medication for the treatment of an infection, take this medication until the full-prescribed quantity is finished, even if symptoms disappear within a few days. Stopping the medication too early may cause bacterial regrowth, which may result in a relapse of the infection. Inform your doctor/physician if your condition continues or worsens.

What are the side effects of Nitrofurantoin?

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite or a headache may occur. Take this medication with meals to help reduce nausea. Inform your doctor/pharmacist immediately, if you observe any of the above side effects continue or worsen.

This medication may cause your urine to become dark yellow or brown. This effect is not harmful and will disappear when the drug is discontinued.

Remember that your doctor/physician has prescribed this medication because your doctor/physician has found that the benefits are higher than the risk of side effects to you. Several people using this medication do not experience severe side effects.

This medication may sometimes cause severe fatal lung problems. Lung problems may occur before the first month of treatment or after long-term use of nitrofurantoin (usually within six months or longer). Get medical assistance right away if you develop symptoms of lung problems, including shortness of breath/trouble breathing, a persistent cough, chest pain, bluish/purplish skin, joint/muscle pain.

Inform your doctor at the earliest if any of these rare but severe side effects begin like new signs of infection (for example persistent sore throat, fever), easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes, persistent or severe headaches, vision changes.

This drug may sometimes cause severe possibly fatal liver disease, blood or nerve problems. Inform your doctor right away if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, unusual/persistent fatigue, fast/pounding heartbeat, numbness/tingling of the arms/legs, muscle weakness.

This medication may sometimes cause a severe intestinal condition (such as Clostridium difficile-related diarrhoea) due to resistant bacteria. This medical condition may develop during the treatment or weeks or months after treatment is discontinued. Do not use narcotic pain management or anti-diarrhoea products medications if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms as these products may worsen the condition. Notify your doctor right away if you develop persistent diarrhoea, blood/mucus in your stool, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping.

Using this medication for a prolonged duration or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection (for example oral or vaginal fungal infection). Consult your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, get medical assistance as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, including rash, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat).

This record is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you observe other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while taking Nitrofurantoin?

Before taking nitrofurantoin, tell your doctor/physician/ pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any some other allergies. This product may contain a few inactive ingredients, which can produce allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for further information.

This medication must be avoided if you are suffering from any medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor/physician/pharmacist if you have little or no urine output a condition called oliguria or anuria, certain genetic conditions (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency), severe kidney disease, a history of liver problems due to use of nitrofurantoin in the past.

Before using this medication, notify your doctor/physician/ pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you had any medical conditions in the past like kidney or liver problems, lung diseases, certain eye diseases (optic neuritis), certain nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy), diabetes, untreated mineral imbalance, vitamin B deficiency, blood disorders (anemia).

Nitrofurantoin may nullify efficacy of live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine). Do not have any vaccinations/ immunizations while using this medication unless your doctor/physician advises.

The kidneys excrete this drug. Therefore, older adults may be at higher risk while using this drug, particularly nerve, liver or lung problems (see Side Effects section). The kidneys function problems increase as you grow older.

This medication has to be used only when strongly needed during pregnancy. This medication should strictly be avoided if you are at term (weeks 38-42 of pregnancy), near the time of delivery due to possible damage to the newborn baby, like certain blood problem (hemolytic anemia). Seek to advise from your doctor regarding the risks and benefits.

This medication passes into breast milk and can cause undesirable side effects on nursing infants below one-month-old and infants with a particular genetic condition (G-6-PD deficiency). Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug Interactions of Nitrofurantoin?

See also the How to Use section.

Your healthcare professionals (doctor/pharmacist) may already know of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or alter the dosage of any medicine before asking them.

Before using this medication, inform your doctor/pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may be using, particularly drugs like sulfinpyrazone.

Although most antibiotics do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, a few antibiotics (for example rifampin, rifabutin) can reduce their effectiveness, and this could increase the chance of pregnancy. If you use hormonal birth control, inform your doctor/physician or pharmacist for more details.

This drug can alter the result of specific urine glucose tests (for example cupric sulfate-type). Make sure laboratory personnel, and your doctor/physician know you use this drug.

This record does not include all possible interactions. Hence, before using this medication, inform your doctor/physician/pharmacist about all the products you are using. Keep a complete record of all the drugs you are using, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

What are the forms and strengths of Nitrofurantoin?

Generic: Nitrofurantoin
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 100mg (75mg nitrofurantoin monohydrate and 25mg nitrofurantoin macrocrystals)
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg

Brand: Macrobid
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 100mg (75mg nitrofurantoin monohydrate and 25mg nitrofurantoin macrocrystals)

Brand: Macrodantin
Form: Oral capsule
Strength: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg

What is the dosage of Nitrofurantoin?

For Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections:

Adult (18–64 years):

Macrodantin and its generic form: 50–100mg four times per day. Length of treatment varies.
Macrobid and its generic forms: 100mg every 12 hours for 7 days.

Pediatric:

Children (12–17 years):

Macrodantin and its generic form: 5–7mg/kg of body weight per day in four divided doses. Length of treatment may vary.
Macrobid and its generic form: 100mg every 12 hours for 7 days.

Children (1 month–11 years):

Macrodantin and its generic form: 5–7 mg/kg of body weight per day in four divided doses. Length of treatment may vary.
Macrobid and its generic form: These drugs have not been studied in children younger than 12 years. They should not be used in this age group.

Children (0–1 month):

Macrodantin and its generic form: These drugs should not be used in children younger than 1 month.
Macrobid and its generic form: These drugs have not been studied in children younger than 12 years. They should not be used in this age group.

Geriatric

Older Adults (65 years and older):

The kidneys in older adults may not work efficiently, and this can cause your body to metabolise drugs slowly. As a result, more drug stays in your body. This increases your chance for side effects.

Your doctor/physician may start lower dosage or a different schedule. This can help maintain levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

For the Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections:

Adult (18–64 years):

Macrodantin and its generic form: 50–100mg at bedtime.
Macrobid and its generic form: These drugs are not used for the prevention of urinary tract infections.

Pediatric:

Children (1 month–17 years):

Macrodantin and its generic form: 1mg/kg of body weight once per day or divided into two doses per day.
Macrobid and its generic form: These drugs are not used for the prevention of urinary tract infection.

Children (0–1 month):

Macrodantin and its generic form: These drugs should not be used in children younger than 1 month.
Macrobid and its generic form: These drugs are not used for the prevention of urinary tract infections.

Geriatric:

Older Adults (65 years and older):

The kidneys in older adults may not work efficiently, and this can cause your body to metabolise drugs slowly. As a result, more drug stays in your body. This increases your chance for side effects.

Your doctor may start lower dosage or a different schedule. This can help maintain levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.