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Nitrofurantoin (nye troe fyoor AN toyn)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Furadantin; Macrobid; Macrodantin

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Nitrofurantoin; Macrobid; Macrodantin; Novo-Furantoin; Teva-Nitrofurantoin

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat or prevent a bladder infection.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to nitrofurantoin or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have kidney disease.
  • If you have trouble passing urine.
  • If this drug caused liver problems before.
  • If you are more than 38 weeks pregnant.
  • Do not give this drug to an infant younger than 1 month of age.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Be careful if you have G6PD deficiency. Anemia may happen.
  • Have your blood work checked if you are on this drug for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor about which glucose tests are best to use.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Eye pain.
  • Not able to control eye movements.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Change in color of skin to a bluish color like on the lips, nail beds, fingers, or toes.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • It is common to have loose stools (diarrhea) when taking this drug. Rarely, a very bad and sometimes deadly form of loose stools may occur (pseudomembranous colitis). This may happen while you are taking this drug or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly lung problems have rarely happened with this drug. Most of the time, this happens in people who are taking this drug for 6 months or longer. Lung problems may happen without warning signs. If you take this drug for a long time, your doctor will watch your lung function. Call your doctor right away if you have fever, chills, chest pain, a cough that is not normal, or trouble breathing or other breathing problems.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly nerve problems have happened with this drug. These nerve problems may not go away. The chance of nerve problems may be higher in people who have kidney problems, anemia, high blood sugar (diabetes), electrolyte problems, or low vitamin B. Call your doctor right away if you have a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Not hungry.
  • Gas.
  • This drug may change the color of your urine to brown. This is normal and not harmful.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • Take this drug with food.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids after the test is over unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not take antacids that have magnesium trisilicate in them with this drug.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Capsule:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Store in original container.
  • Protect from light.
  • Throw away any unused portion after 30 days.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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