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What Foods to Avoid While Taking Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used as a UTI treatment and to prevent urinary tract infections. If you’re currently taking nitrofurantoin, you might be wondering what foods you should avoid to ensure it works correctly and you don’t suffer any side effects.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

When you have been prescribed nitrofurantoin, you can eat as you normally would. However, it’s important to bear in mind that some foods may make the symptoms of your UTI worse. These include sugary drinks (including, but not limited to, fizzy soft drinks), spicy food, and acidic citrus fruits.

To combat these potential problems, it can be helpful to include food that contain probiotics in your diet, such as low fat yoghurt and cultured dairy products.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

It’s wise to find out as much as possible about any medication you might be taking, and the question of can you drink on nitrofurantoin is certainly a sensible one. There are two schools of thought on how to answer this question; the first is there are no reported interactions between alcohol and nitrofurantoin, so drinking in moderation is generally considered acceptable.

However, the NHS also suggests that alcohol should not be drunk if you suffer from a UTI. This is because the alcohol itself may irritate your bladder, making your symptoms worse. Since drinking alcohol could exacerbate side effects including nausea and dizziness, it may be wise to reduce your alcohol intake while taking nitrofurantoin.

Can I Drink Coffee While Taking Nitrofurantoin?

Many people enjoy at least one daily cup of coffee, so it’s wise to know whether this is something that can continue while taking nitrofurantoin. Although you can drink coffee with nitrofurantoin, caffeine can cause dehydration which can make the symptoms of a UTI worse.

To avoid dehydration, it’s best to drink plenty of fluids, such as water and fruit juice containing high levels of vitamin C.

Can Cranberry Juice Treat UTIs?

The idea that cranberry juice can treat UTIs is a well-known one, but it’s best to check with experts. The fact is that although cranberry juice may reduce the symptoms of recurrent UTIs, it does not eliminate the issue. Properly prescribed antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin are the best course of action.

What Else Can You Do?

Although medication is the best way to eliminate cystitis and other UTIs, there are other ways to help yourself and reduce symptoms.


Nitrofurantoin is effective at treating UTIs, but eating a healthy, well-balanced diet while taking it is essential for overall health. To ensure your symptoms don’t become worse, it may be wise to avoid eating spicy food and citrus fruits, and to avoid drinking sugary beverages.

To aid the reduction of symptoms, low fat yoghurt and cultured dairy products should be included in your diet.


NHS, 2021. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

NHS, 2021. Common Questions About Nitrofurantoin.

Kent Community Health, 2021. Don't Dry Out

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 24/08/2023 Reviewed on: 01/11/2023
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