In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for nitrofurantoin, trade name Macrobid™ and Macrodantin™.

What it’s for & How to take

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic that works by blocking the growth of bacteria. Nitrofurantoin is used to treat urinary tract bacterial infections caused by bacteria.

This medication may sometimes be used to treat other conditions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are prescribed this medication to treat something other than a urinary tract infection.

Do not take an antibiotic without first being seen by a prescriber. Not all antibiotics work for all types of infections. If you take an antibiotic that is not prescribed for you, the condition might get worse.

Nitrofurantoin will not work to treat the common cold or flu. This antibiotic may not be effective if it has been overused in conditions that are not related to bacterial infections.

Nitrofurantoin is usually prescribed to be taken either 2 or 4 times daily, depending on which form your doctor prescribes for you. This antibiotic should be taken with food and a full glass of water.

Take this medication at evenly spaced intervals. Antibiotics work best when there is a constant level of the medication kept in the body at all times.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Unless otherwise directed, do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Take this medication until it is all done, even if you are feeling better and the symptoms are gone. If you stop taking your antibiotic, the infection might come back and may be harder to treat.

Warnings & Cautions

  • You should not use this medication if you have severe liver or kidney disease, or have problems with difficult urination. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not take this medication if you are in your last 4 weeks of pregnancy.
  • This medication passes into breast milk and should not be taken while breastfeeding.
  • Nitrofurantoin is not to be administered to children less than 1 month of age.
  • You are more likely to get a sunburn while taking this medication. If you can’t stay out of the sun, cover up with clothing and sunscreen.
  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking nitrofurantoin.
  • Adults 65 years and older should not normally take nitrofurantoin because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat similar conditions.
  • Antibiotic therapy may sometimes allow for the growth of yeast in your mouth or cause a vaginal yeast infection in women. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any symptoms of yeast in your mouth (such as white patches or a dry/chalky feeling in your mouth) or any symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection (such as itching, discharge, redness or swelling).

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if nitrofurantoin is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, anemia, any nerve damage, or any other medical conditions.
  • While taking nitrofurantoin, you may have some mild itching, rash, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any severe abdominal pain, constant diarrhea or mucus or blood in your stool.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20