Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic indicated for the treatment of acute cystitis, a type of bladder infection. Its mechanism of action involves inhibiting the proliferation of bacteria.
This antibiotic is only effective against bacterial infections, and will not be effective against viral infections such as the common cold or flu. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to decreased effectiveness in treating future infections.
Uses and Dosage
Nitrofurantoin is available in both capsule and liquid suspension forms for oral administration. It is taken two or four times daily with food for a minimum of seven days. To ensure optimal effectiveness, take nitrofurantoin at the same times each day, as directed by your physician.
Before each use, the liquid suspension should be thoroughly shaken to ensure even distribution of the medication. A dose-measuring spoon or cup should be used to accurately measure the correct amount of liquid for each dose.
During the first few days of treatment with nitrofurantoin, improvement in symptoms should be expected. If there is no improvement or if symptoms worsen, seek medical attention.
Complete the entire prescribed course of nitrofurantoin, even if improvement in symptoms is observed, to prevent the reoccurrence of infection or the development of antibiotic resistance. If treatment is discontinued prematurely or if doses are missed, the infection may become more challenging to treat.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- loss of appetite
- heartburn or gas
- hair loss
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- changes in facial skin color
- chest pain
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint or muscle pain
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- sudden trouble in swallowing or breathing
- swelling of the face, mouth, hands, or feet
- troubled breathing
Before starting treatment with nitrofurantoin, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have any known allergies, including allergies to the medication or its inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients can cause allergic reactions or other complications, and your pharmacist can provide more information on this matter.
Advise your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, including any history of kidney disease, liver disease, including previous liver issues caused by Nitrofurantoin, G-6-PD deficiency, lung disease, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, vitamin B deficiency, mineral imbalances, blood disorders such as anemia, diabetes, persistent weakness due to long-term illness, and certain eye disorders like optic neuritis.
Older adults may be at a higher risk for side effects, including problems with the nerves, liver, or lungs.
During pregnancy, nitrofurantoin should only be used when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. It should not be used during the late stages of pregnancy (38-42 weeks) or during labor and delivery, as it may cause hemolytic anemia in the baby.
Nitrofurantoin may also pass into breast milk and may have negative effects on nursing infants younger than 1 month old or those with G-6-PD deficiency. Before breastfeeding, please consult your doctor.
Form and Strength
Macrobid is available in the following forms and strengths:
Is Macrobid a strong antibiotic for a UTI?
Macrobid is an effective antibiotic for urinary tract infections.
How quickly does Macrobid work for UTI?
Your antibiotic should start working within three to five days, although it may take up to a week for symptoms to clear. Be sure to complete the full course of medication.