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    Information about Nitrofurantoin

    Nitrofurantoin uses

    Nitrofurantoin is used in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections of urinary tract.

    How nitrofurantoin works

    Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It works by killing the bacteria in the urine that causes infection.

    Common side effects of nitrofurantoin

    Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    25 Nov 2019 | 05:38 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Nitrofurantoin

    • ₹70 to ₹123
      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)
    • ₹174
      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹86 to ₹259
      Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
      3 variant(s)
    • ₹70 to ₹160
      Walter Bushnell
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      Wanbury Ltd
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      Mankind Pharma Ltd
      1 variant(s)
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      Cipla Ltd
      4 variant(s)
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      Wanbury Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹78
      Lupin Ltd
      1 variant(s)
    • ₹76
      TTK Healthcare Ltd
      1 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Nitrofurantoin

    • Nitrofurantoin treats and prevents uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
    • Finish the prescribed course of the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early may make the infection come back and harder to treat.
    • Take it with food to avoid nausea, which is a common side effect.
    • It can turn your urine a dark yellow or brown colour. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
    • Do not take it for longer or more often than prescribed by your doctor.

    Frequently asked questions for Nitrofurantoin


    Q. How long does Nitrofurantoin take to work on a UTI?

    Nitrofurantoin starts acting quickly, but you will not start feeling better immediately after taking it. It may take a few days (2-3 days) before you see any improvement in your symptoms. If you do not start feeling better within 3 days of starting Nitrofurantoin or your condition worsens, contact your doctor. It is important to complete the full course of Nitrofurantoin as advised by your doctor, even if you start feeling better.

    Q. Is Nitrofurantoin a strong antibiotic?

    Yes, Nitrofurantoin is a strong antibiotic (or broad spectrum antibiotic), which means that it is effective against a wide variety of urinary bacteria. It is important that Nitrofurantoin should be given to treat or prevent infections that are proven to be caused by susceptible bacteria. This is usually evaluated by a culture test which demonstrates a range of bacteria which cannot grow in the prence of an antibiotic. Nitrofurantoin has seen to be effective against UTI caused by Escherichia coli, Enteroccus faecalis, Klebsiella species, Enterobacter species, Staphylococcus species: (eg S. aureus, S. saprophyticus, S. epidermidis). Some strains of Enterobacter and Klebsiella are resistant to Nitrofurantoin.

    Q. What happens if you take Nitrofurantoin without food?

    You should take Nitrofurantoin with your meal or straightaway after the meal. Taking with food helps in absorption of medicine so that it works better. If you take it without food, you are likely to get an upset stomach. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite may also occur. Therefore, to avoid unpleasant side effects, take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

    Q. Does Nitrofurantoin make your urine orange?

    Nitrofurantoin may turn your urine brown or dark yellow in colour. However, you need not worry as this is usually temporary and completely harmless effect. It will disappear once you stop taking Nitrofurantoin. Consult your doctor if you are not sure or still have any concern, but do not stop taking Nitrofurantoin.

    Q. Can Nitrofurantoin give you a yeast infection?

    Yes, some people may get a fungal or yeast infection known as ‘thrush’ after taking Nitrofurantoin. This is because antibiotics kill the ‘good bacteria’ which help in preventing thrush. You should inform your doctor if you get vaginal itching or discharge after taking Nitrofurantoin or soon after stopping it.

    Q. Does Nitrofurantoin make you sleepy?

    Yes, Nitrofurantoin may make you feel sleepy. It may even cause dizziness, spinning sensation (vertigo) and rapid, uncontrolled eye movement (nystagmus). If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Nitrofurantoin, you should avoid driving or operating machinery, unless these symptoms disappear.

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Nitrofurantoin?

    It is recommended that you avoid alcohol while taking Nitrofurantoin since alcohol may worsen the side effects of Nitrofurantoin. Also, avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. This is because Nitrofurantoin may make your skin sensitive to sun.

    Q. What is drug resistance? How can I lower the risk of resistance while taking Nitrofurantoin?

    In drug resistance, the bacteria present in the body gets modified and because of that medicine no longer works. To reduce the development of drug resistance bacteria, Nitrofurantoin should only be used to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. Also, you should not skip any dose and complete the full course else it is highly likely that resistance to Nitrofurantoin will develop.

    Content on this page was last updated on 25 November, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)