Nitrofurantoin ( Macrobid )

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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 26/05/2020 Next review: 26/11/2020

What is Nitrofurantoin 100mg?

Nitrofurantoin, also sold under the brand name MacroBID, is an antibiotic that is used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) such as cystitis. The medicine in available to buy as capsules from Prescription Doctor.

Not only can Nitrofurantoin treat UTIs, it can prevent them too. If you experience UTIs often, consult your GP for advice on whether Nitrofurantoin would be suitable for you.

How does Nitrofurantoin 100mg work?

Nitrofurantoin works by changing the DNA of the bacterial cells. The cells become weak and can no longer multiply. This makes it easier for your immune system to fight against the infection.

How do I take Nitrofurantoin 100mg?

To treat a UTI, the normal dose is 100 mg taken twice a day or 50 mg taken 4 times a day.

For more severe infections, 100 mg may need to be taken 4 times a day.

When taking Nitrofurantoin 100mg twice a day, space the time you take your tablets out by 12 hours. This means that if you take one dose at 7am, your next dose should be 7pm.

If you are taking Nitrofurantoin 100mg 4 times a day, the doses should be spread evenly across the day. Take the first dose in the morning. Take the second dose around midday. The third dose should be administered in the evening and the fourth dose should be taken just before you go to bed.

Swallow each capsule whole with a glass of water.

Nitrofurantoin 100mg capsules should be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.

A typical course of Nitrofurantoin 100mg lasts between three and seven days.

Nitrofurantoin side effects and cautions

All medicines have the risk of causing side effects, though not everyone gets them. Being aware of the risks which come with the medicine you take is important to your course of treatment.

Side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Short-term hair loss
  • Vomiting

If you notice any side effects, whether they are listed above or in the leaflet which comes with your treatment, you should report them to your doctor. Alternatively, you can speak to a pharmacist. You can use the NHS' Find A Pharmacy service to find a pharmacy near you.

You should stop taking Nitrofurantoin and speak to your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Blue or purple skin tone
  • Extreme changes of mood or mental state, confusion, weakness and blurred vision.
  • Fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath
  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Raised pressure in the skull (severe headaches)

This is not a complete list of side effects and cautions. Further information can be found in the leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

Is Nitrofurantoin safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Nitrofurantoin can be used during pregnancy. For further advice on taking this antibiotic while pregnant or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor.

When taking antibiotics, it is important to complete your course of treatment as prescribe by the doctor. If you stop taking antibiotics too early, your infection may come back. Stopping treatment early may also cause future treatments with this antibiotic ineffective.

Who should not take Nitrofurantoin?

Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients of Nitrofurantoin.

This medicine contains lactose. If you have lactose intolerance, speak to your doctor for further advice on taking Nitrofurantoin.

What should I do if I experience an allergic reaction to Nitrofurantoin?

If you develop the signs of an allergic reaction to this medicine, go to your nearest accident and emergency department. Take any remaining medicine and packaging with you.

Always keep medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Never share your medicine with anyone else, even if they experience similar symptoms to you.

Frequently asked questions about Nitrofurantoin

How long does Nitrofurantoin take to work on an UTI?

It may take 3 days of Nitrofurantoin before your UTI symptoms start to subside. You will need to take your antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Not completing your course of antibiotics can result in your infection coming back.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Nitrofurantoin?

Yes, you can drink alcohol in moderation while taking Nitrofurantoin. Avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Will Nitrofurantoin affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Nitrofurantoin can cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery if you feel unfit to do so.

What should I do if I take too much?

If you take too much Nitrofurantoin, tell your doctor as soon as possible.

What should I do if I forget to take it?

Take your medicine as soon as you remember. If it is near your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue taking the medicine as nor

Do not take more medicine to make up for the one you missed.

Will Nitrofurantoin affect my contraceptive pill?

Your contraceptive pill will still work while taking Nitrofurantoin.

However, if you vomit or experience diarrhoea while taking Nitrofurantoin, your contraceptive pill may be ineffective. The leaflet which comes with your contraceptive pill will tell you what to do if this happens.

Can Nitrofurantoin cause thrush?

In some cases, thrush can develop after taking a course of Nitrofurantoin. This is because the antibiotic may kill the bacteria which fight against thrush.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

What if the medicine doesn't work?

Tell your doctor if you do not see an improvement after 3 days, especially if you notice your symptoms becoming worse.

In rare cases, the bacteria which causes the infection is resistant to Nitrofurantoin. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe an alternative antibiotic.

Can I buy Nitrofurantoin 100mg over the counter in the UK?

No, you cannot buy Nitrofurantoin 100mg over the counter in the UK because it is an antibiotic. However, you can obtain a prescription for Nitrofurantoin online from Prescription Doctor.

Table of contents

What is Nitrofurantoin?

How does Nitrofurantoin work?

How do I take Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

Additional resources

How to prevent Cystitis?

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Nitrofurantoin
  • Manufacturer: Mercury pharma
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Capsules
  • Available Strength:100 mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only
  • Application: Women aged 18+
  • Dosage: Take no more than 200 mg daily without food for 7 days
  • Description: Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic which is used to treat bacterial infections
  • Drug Class: Antibiotic
  • Alcohol Consumption: No influence
  • When Pregnant: Inform our prescriber if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant.
  • When Breastfeeding: Inform our prescriber if you are breastfeeding.
Click here to view the Nitrofurantoin ( Macrobid ) - Patient Information Leaflet

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