Nitrofurantoin - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Nitrofurantoin is used for the prevention and treatment of infections affecting the urinary tract, specifically the bladder and the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body).
How do I take this medicine?
Take Nitrofurantoin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

This medicine should be taken with main meals or with a glass of milk. Oral suspension may be mixed with water, milk, fruit juice or infant formula. Try to take it at the same time each day.

If you are taking an oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not take this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar nitrofurans such as nitrofural and nifurtimox.

Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • G6PD deficiency (abnormal activity of the red blood cell)
as Nitrofurantoin may not be suitable for you.

Do not take Nitrofurantoin if you are 38-42 weeks pregnant. If you are pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Nitrofurantoin may cause harm to your unborn child.

Do not give Nitrofurantoin to infants unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
  • lung disease
  • illness causing severe weakness
  • allergies
  • anaemia (low red blood cell count)
  • diabetes
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • vitamin B deficiency 
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Your urine may look slightly brown in colour. This is normal while you are being treated with this medicine; do not be alarmed.

For as long as you are taking this medicine, you may need to have regular blood tests to check your body's response to the medicine and the health of your liver and kidney.
What side effects could I experience?
Nitrofurantoin may cause any of the following side effects:
  • diarrhoea
  • infection
  • anaemia (low red blood cell count)
Other side effects may include any of the following: nausea, headache, brownish discoloration of the urine, fever, chills and chest pain.

This medicine may cause dizziness and drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.

Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes with abdominal pain or persistent tiredness, nausea or vomiting
  • fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath, these could be signs of lung problem
  • changes to the sense of feeling and the use of muscles, extreme changes of mood, or mental state, confusion, weakness, blurred vision
  • fatigue, abdominal pain, joint pain and swelling, these could be signs of hepatitis (a serious liver disease)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor if you are taking any of these:
  • medicines for gout e.g. probenecid, sulfinpyrazone
  • medicines for neutralizing stomach acid e.g. magnesium trisilicate
  • antibiotics known as quinolones e.g. norfloxacin, ofloxacin
  • medicines for raised pressure in the eye (glaucoma) e.g. acetazolamide
  • typhoid vaccine (medicine used for protection against typhoid fever)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nitrofurantoin.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on nitrofurantoin - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
  • Macrodantin
  • Nitrofurantoin A.N.H.
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