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Nitrofurantoin and Common Brands

Nitrofurantoin and Common Brands

Generic Name: Nitrofurantoin

Common Brands: Macrobid, Furadantin, Macrodantin, Nitro Macro.

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What Is Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is a type of antibiotic that helps the body battle infections. Nitrofurantoin is used for the treatment of urinary tract infections; however, it can also be used for other types of medical conditions. Nitrofurantoin also prevents the growth of bacteria. It is only available by prescription. This medication is not for the treatment of viral infections such as the flu or the common cold.

Nitrofurantoin is available in the form of tablets, liquid suspension, and capsules.

What to Avoid While Taking Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin should not be taken by those who are suffering from urinary issues, kidney related problems, and liver related problems or jaundice.

Those who are pregnant and in their last trimester, which can be the last 2-4 weeks of pregnancy, should not take this medicine. This drug should not be given to children younger than a month old.

Before Usage 

There are certain points one should note before starting their prescription of nitrofurantoin. Inform the doctor if you are:

  • Allergic to any of the contents or ingredients present in nitrofurantoin.
  • Suffering from certain medical conditions such as severe kidney disorder, jaundice, liver problems, or urinary problems.
  • In your last few weeks of pregnancy, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Suffering from diabetes, an electrolyte imbalance, any type of debilitating disease, anemia, vitamin B deficiency, or a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
  • Allergic to other drugs, foods, or substances.
  • Currently taking any other medications, vitamins, or supplements.


Nitrofurantoin should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. Avoid taking more or less than the recommended dose of nitrofurantoin. Nitrofurantoin should be taken with food or milk since this can reduce the risk of stomach upset and help the body absorb more of the medicine.

With the liquid suspension form of this medicine, ensure that you shake the oral suspension well before measuring the dose. With the help of a dosing syringe or special dose measuring spoon, which will be provided with the medicine, you can properly measure your dose. Once you have measured your dose, you can mix it with milk or fruit juice to make the liquid easier to swallow. Once the mixture is mixed with another liquid, it should be consumed right away instead of storing it for future use. Nitrofurantoin in capsule form should be swallowed as a whole. Do not crush, open, or chew the capsule before swallowing it.

Ensure that you take your prescription of nitrofurantoin for the full length of time. Do not stop your dose just because you feel your symptoms are improving. It is of the utmost importance that antibiotics be taken until an infection is completely removed from the body. Skipping doses or ceasing the use of an antibiotic early can cause your infection to become resistant to antibiotics; thus, making it far more difficult to treat the condition.  

Nitrofurantoin should be stored at room temperature and away from light, heat, and moisture. If a dose of nitrofurantoin is missed, ensure that you take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and move on to the next one. Do not take a double dose.

Antibiotics, such as nitrofurantoin, are known to cause diarrhea. However, diarrhea can also be a sign of a new infection. If you begin to experience diarrhea with bloody or watery stools, inform your doctor. In the meantime, avoid using any anti-diarrhea medications. Antacids should not be taken unless prescribed or recommended by your doctor. Certain antacids can make it more difficult for the body to absorb nitrofurantoin.   


The dose of nitrofurantoin given differs from person to person based on various factors such as age, gender, the condition being treated, past or present medical conditions, severity of the condition being treated, and allergies. Below are details on the oral form of dosage such as capsules, tablets, and suspension.

For Prevention and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections

  • Adults and teenagers can take a dose ranging between 50mg to 100mg before going to bed. It should be taken every six hours.
  • For children and infants who are above the age of one month, the doctor will decide on the dose based on their body weight.
  • Infants who are younger than a month old should not take this medication.

Adult Dose for Treating Cystitis

In the case of regular use, it can be in the range of 50mg to 100mg for one week. In the case of dual release, one can take 100mg of the medicine in oral form twice in a day for at least seven days.

Adult Dose for Treating Cystitis Prophylaxis

In the form of regular release, this medication can be taken in the range of 50mg to 100mg once a day before bedtime.

Dosage for Extended Release Capsules

The recommended dose for adults, teenagers, and children over the age of 12 is 100mg every 12 hours for 7 days. For children under the age of 12, the doctor will have to determine the appropriate dose.

Side Effects 

Below are some serious allergic reaction side effects that can occur when taking nitrofurantoin:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Tingling sensation
  • Fever
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Cough which tends to worsen
  • Nausea,
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Wheezing
  • Pain in the hands and feet
  • Swelling of the glands
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual behavior
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat.

These side effects are more common in elderly patients or patients with impaired immune systems.

The common side effects of nitrofurantoin are:

  • Mild diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Gas
  • Headache.


Macrobid is mainly used for treating patients who are suffering from bladder infections such as acute cystitis. This medicine works by preventing or stopping the growth of bacteria. This is an antibiotic which only works for treating bacterial infections. Overdose or unnecessary usage can lead to decrease in the effectiveness of this medicine.

Macrobid is taken orally twice a day. One in the morning and the second in the evening or as directed by the doctor. For best results, ensure that you take macrobid every day at the same time and in the same dosage. Additionally, ensure that you take macrobid for the complete length of time as prescribed by the doctor.


Similar to nitrofurantoin, furadantin is also for the treatment of bladder infection. It only works for the treatment of bacterial infections. Furadantin should be taken orally with food and as directed by the doctor. Furadantin can be taken either four times daily or once daily before bed. The exact dose prescribed depends on the patient.

Furadantin is available in solution form and can be mixed with milk, water, or fruit juices to improve the taste. After taking your dose of furadantin, rinse your mouth thoroughly to prevent any kind of temporary staining of the teeth.


Macrodantin is used for both the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections. Macrodantin is an antibiotic similar to nitrofurantoin. It helps stop or prevent the growth of bacteria. Macrodantin should be taken orally. It can be taken with milk or food. Follow the directions provided by your doctor or check the label on the medicine bottle for a detailed guide on usage.

While taking this medication, do not use antacids that contain magnesium trisilicate since they can affect how the body absorbs the macrodantin. The dosage and length of this medication will depend on the severity of your condition and your response to therapy. Macrodantin works best when taken in the same quantity at the same time of day. 

Key Takeaways

  • Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic the helps treat and prevent bacterial infections.
  • Nitrofurantoin is available in the form of tablets, liquid suspension, and capsules.
  • Nitrofurantoin is mostly used for the treatment of urinary tract infections.