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Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid ) for Urinary Track Infections

Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) for Urinary Track Infections

Nitrofurantoin is a generic medication used to treat bacterial infections in the urinary tract and cystitis(bladder infection). It is recommended first-line treatment therapy for lower urinary tract infection. As per the study, Nitrofurantoin shows positive results in uncomplicated urinary tract infections. It is used to treat active UTIs or prevent recurring UTIs. The medication cannot treat viral, fungal, and sexually transmitted infections. Macrobid is the brand name of Nitrofurantoin, and it belongs to a drug class called antibiotics. FDA approved it in 1953. 

Before Taking Nitrofurantoin

You should follow the below guidelines before consuming Nitrofurantoin-

  • Perform the antibiotic susceptibility test(AST) to check whether bacteria, viruses, or fungus cause the infections.
  • It is necessary to keep your medical condition, medical history, and allergies in mind.
  • Avoid the usage of other antibiotics, antacids, and supplements.
  • The medication should be avoided in newborn babies younger than one month.
  • Children and Adults can use this medication but need to take medical advice.
  • Diabetic people and older adults older than 65 years have a risk of using these medications.
  • People suffering from severe kidney problems or liver disease should avoid this medication.
  • People suffering from blood disorders need to be careful while consuming it.
  • The medication is not safe for pregnant women experiencing the last 2 to 4 weeks of pregnancy as they can try other options for UTIs.
  • The breastfeeding mother should know the risk of using this medication. The medication passes through breast milk which can harm your nursing baby.

How To Take Nitrofurantoin?

Below are some conditions you need to follow while consuming Nitrofurantoin-

  • You should take the medication as prescribed and swallow the whole tablet with water, don’t chew or break it.
  • You can consume the tablet with or without food, but it is best to take the pill with a meal that helps your body absorb the medicine.
  • The liquid medication is usually given to children and should be measured properly provided medication cap.
  • Drink plenty of water after consuming the medication.
  • Avoid the combination of medication with Nitrofurantoin.
  • One should complete the entire medication course, or the infection will occur again.

Forms and strengths

Form Strength
Capsule 25,50,100 mg
Liquid suspension 25 mg per 5 ml

Dosage For Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections

The recommended dosage for UTI is either 100 mg tablets twice a day or 50 mg taken four times a day.

How Long Does Nitrofurantoin Take to Work on a UTI? 

Nitrofurantoin works by killing the bacteria, and the recovery is based on the infection and the medical condition. It typically takes 2 to 3 days or can also take more time to work on UTIs as they vary from person to person.

Is Nitrofurantoin Good for UTI?

Nitrofurantoin is the best antibiotic for treating UTIs as it kills E.coli and other bacteria that lead to infection in the urinary tract. Cystitis can be treated within 48-72 hours after starting the treatment. It is a better treatment for uncomplicated UTIs.

Nitrofurantoin Side Effects

Listed below are some side effects. The symptoms may develop within a few days of treatment. More extended use of this medication for more than six months may lead to severe side effects.

Common side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Rash and itching
  • Dark yellow or brown colour urine

Severe side effects:

Lung problem: Trouble breathing, persistent cough, chest pain, joint or muscle pain.

Liver problem: Yellowing of skin and eyes, unusual fatigue.

Intestinal problem: Diarrhea, cramping blood, mucus in stool, stomach pain.

Vaginal yeast infection: White spots in the mouth, change in vaginal discharge.

Allergic infection: Itching, swelling of face or tongue or throat.

Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) For UTI How Long To Feel Better?

Usually, the treatment consists of 7 to 10 days as it depends on the type of infection and symptoms an individual suffers. After taking Nitrofurantoin, you will start to feel relief after 2 or 3 days and feel better within 4 to 5 days.

What If Macrobid Doesn’t Work For UTI?

Suppose Macrobid doesn’t work for UTIs because the infection may be more severe, and the bacteria might resist the antibiotic. You need to perform a urine test again to check which type of bacteria leads to such infection.

You should try another treatment method instead of using Macrobid.

Essential Considerations For Taking This Drug


  • You should not perform a task that requires alertness and coordination.
  • You should have a list of antibiotics or medications you take.
  • Avoid the combination of other medications while consuming Nitrofurantoin.
  • It would be best if you did not overdose or miss the dose of medication as it shows adverse effects on your body.


  • Store the medication(Nitrofurantoin) at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
  • Keep the medication in a tight container, and Don’t freeze the oral suspension.
  • Keep the medication away from the reach of children and pets.
  • If the medication expires, don’t flush it in the bathroom but dispose of it properly.


  • The medication is not defined as whether it can be refilled or not.


  • You can travel by consuming this medicine, but you should know the result of the medication on your body.

Are there any alternatives?

Below are some other alternatives to treat your condition, which may be better for you in place of Nitrofurantoin


Nitrofurantoin is a potent antibiotic to treat bacterial infections in the urinary tract. You should follow the precautions properly to observe the recovery. It takes 3-4 days to work on UTI, which may reduce the symptoms, and you will feel relief. As it takes more time, it can treat UTIs.You should consume the prescribed amount of medication. You can replace the drug with other available alternatives.