Nitrofurantoin: Uses, Dosage, Price, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an anti-bacterial drug specific for urinary tract infections caused by susceptible strains of Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus saprophyticus.

Nitrofurantoin should not be used for the treatment of pyelonephritis or perinephric abscesses.

Manufactured By – Alkem Laboratories Ltd

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How does Nitrofurantoin work?

Nitrofurantoin kills the bacteria by inhibiting the synthesis of DNA (genetic material), protein synthesis, RNA synthesis and cell wall synthesis and thus preventing its further multiplication.

Nitrofurantoin Price in India

SpecificsNitrofurantoin Price
100 mg CapsulesRs 104.50
Also Read: Promethazine Price | Pyrimethamine Price

How to Take Nitrofurantoin?

  • In order to reduce antibiotic resistance and increase the effectiveness of Nitrofurantoin, it is advisable that all antibacterial therapies including Nitrofurantoin should be selected based on culture and susceptibility information (a particular antibiotic should only be used to treat or prevent infections that are strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria).
  • Available in the form of tablets.
  • Nitrofurantoin tablets are usually well absorbed orally and should be directly swallowed with water in one go.
  • They should be taken with food, ideally at breakfast or dinner time.
  • For ideal results, it should always be taken at evenly spaced intervals to maintain certain amount of drug in the body all the time. Dosage regimen should be adjusted according to individual patient needs, type of infection or as advised by the doctor.
  • When on Nitrofurantoin therapy, it is always advised that medication should not be left in between without completing the full course or skipping the doses as it:
  • Might decrease the efficacy of the drug and
  • Increase the likelihood of bacterial resistance to this drug thereby making it inefficient for future use.

Common Dosage for Nitrofurantoin?

  • The drug dosage and form is decided by the physician based upon:

age and body weight of the patient

health status/medical condition of the patient

disease severity

reaction to the first dose

history of allergy/drug reactions

  • In patients suffering from kidney problems or on dialysis, the dosage of Nitrofurantoin may need to be reduced.
  • Never use more than the recommended dose or for longer periods of time without doctor’s consent. In case of non-improvement of symptoms or symptoms getting worse, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If taken as an over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication.

When to Avoid Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is ineffective in treating viral infections like common cold, flu etc. Overuse or unnecessary usage may cause antibiotic resistance or decreased effectiveness of antibiotic

Nitrofurantoin should not be used in:

Patients allergic to Nitrofurantoin

Patients suffering from kidney disease

Patients suffering from liver diseases and a history of jaundice associated with nitrofurantoin.

neonates under one month of age

  • A false positive reaction for glucose in the urine may occur. This has been observed in tests with Benedict’s and Fehling’s solutions.

Side-effects of Nitrofurantoin?

Side effects are possible but do not always occur in all the patients.

More commonly observed side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory hypersensitivity reactions
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Fever, chills, body pain

In very few cases, patients might complain of some serious side effects like:

  • Pancreatitis, sialadenitis, pseudomembranous colitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy (numbness, weakness and burning type of pain)
  • Vertigo, imbalance
  • Confusion, depression or psychotic reactions
  • Acute respiratory reactions
  • Hepatitis, jaundice
  • Lupus like syndrome, severe allergic reactions
  • Exfoliative dermatitis, severe skin reactions.

In such cases, tell your doctor immediately and seek immediate medical attention.

Also Read: Activated Charcoal Side Effect | Penicillamine Side Effect

Reported Allergic Reactions?

Although Nitrofurantoin is used to treat bacterial infections but an allergic reaction to Nitrofurantoin might occur.

Possible allergic reactions reported include: itchy skin, rashes, swelling especially on face, lips & throat, difficulty in breathing or swallowing and loss of consciousness.

Effect on organs

  • Dose adjustment is needed in patients suffering from kidney and liver diseases. In such patients, Nitrofurantoin should be administered with caution.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. You must always inform the physician of all the drugs/products you use.
  • You must inform your doctor if you frequently use other drugs that make you drowsy or sleepy, such as sleeping pills, other allergy drugs, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxants, and drugs used for fits, depression, or anti-anxiety drugs.
  • You must also inform about the herbal products that you are consuming. You must not modify the drug regimen without your doctor’s approval.
  • Some of the common drugs which interact with Nitrofurantoin include:
  • Antacids
  • Probenecid and sulfinpyrazone

Shows Effects / Results In:

The time taken for Nitrofurantoin to show its effect depends upon the form of medicine being consumed and its intended use.

Some patients might show decreased severity of symptoms from day one but even if the symptoms have disappeared, the course of the medicine should always be completed.


Is Nitrofurantoin Addictive?

No such tendency has been reported.

Can I have Nitrofurantoin with alcohol?

You must avoid alcohol consumption while taking Nitrofurantoin therapy.

Any particular food item to be avoided?


Can I have Nitrofurantoin When Pregnant?

  • Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • The medicine should be used with great caution during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the foetus.
  • There is a risk of hemolytic anemia to the child due to immature erythrocyte enzyme systems) if Nitrofurantoin is given to pregnant patients at term (38-42 weeks gestation), during labor and delivery, or when the onset of labor is impending.

Can I have Nitrofurantoin when feeding a baby?

Always inform your doctor if you are breast-feeding your child.

Nitrofurantoin is excreted in human milk so always consult your paediatrician before consuming Nitrofurantoin while lactating.

Can I drive after taking Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin Tablet usually does not affect your ability to drive.

However, few patients might experience dizziness as a side effect, in such cases it should be used with caution while driving and operating heavy machinery.

What happens if I overdose on Nitrofurantoin?

It should not be administered in more than prescribed dose. Taking more medication or with increased frequency will not improve your symptoms; rather they may cause serious side-effects. In case of over dosage, consult your doctor immediately.

What happens if I eat expired Nitrofurantoin?

It is very unlikely for a single dose of expired Nitrofurantoin to produce an adverse event. However, please consult your physician if you feel unwell or sick after consuming an expired medicine. An expired drug might not be as potent in treating your condition. It is advisable to refrain from using expired drug.

What happens if I miss a dose of Nitrofurantoin?

The medicine may not work well if you miss a dose because for effective working of the drug, a certain amount of drug must be present in your body at all times.

Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But, if its already time to take the second dose after that – do not take double dose.

Storage Requirements for Nitrofurantoin

Protect from moisture, light, and temperatures above 40C.

Pro Tips When Taking Nitrofurantoin –

Even if you begin to feel better in a few days of treatment with Nitrofurantoin, it is advisable that you complete the entire course of treatment.

If the medicine is stopped in between, the symptoms might return or may get worsened. Also chances of bacterial resistance to drug may increase.

Also Read: Septillin | Stugeron
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