What is Nitrofurantoin?
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic medication that can be used in the treatment of cystitis. It is named after its active ingredient (also called Nitrofurantoin) and is available in 100mg and 50mg tablet form. For a prolonged-release, One tablet of 100mg is swallowed twice a day for 3 days. For an immediate release, one tablet of 50mg is swallowed four times a day for a course of 3 days. Nitrofurantoin is usually prescribed to most patients, who meet the basic health requirements for the medication.
What is the active ingredient of Nitrofurantoin?
The Active ingredient is Nitrofurantoin-antibiotic used for the treatment of bladder and urinary tract infections like cystitis. Nitrofurantoin attacks the bacteria that cause the infection. Each tablet contains either 50mg or 100mg of nitrofurantoin. The other ingredients are: lactose, maize starch, pregelatinised maize starch, sodium starch glycolate and magnesium stearate.
How does Nitrofurantoin work?
When taking Nitrofurantoin 100mg tablets by mouth, high levels of nitrofurantoin get filtered out of the blood and into the urine by your kidneys. This puts the active ingredient (also called Nitrofurantoin) right among the bacteria that are causing the urine infection. The nitrofurantoin kills the bacteria that cause the initial infection and are continuing to multiply inside your urinary tract or bladder. It is important to take all the prescribed pills, even if you quickly begin to feel relief from the symptoms of cystitis. The infection may not be completely cured if you don’t complete the full course of Nitrofurantoin.
Who can take Nitrofurantoin?
An online doctor will usually consider prescribing Nitrofurantoin to both women and men who are suffering from cystitis. A quick online health check will ensure that the medication is safe for you to use. If you have medical issues that prevent you from receiving a Nitrofurantoin prescription, the doctor may recommend that you consult a specialist.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, consult with a doctor before taking Nitrofurantoin. Nitrofurantoin Tablets may be used in pregnancy. However, it should not be used during labour or delivery because there is a possibility that use at this stage may affect the baby. If you want to breastfeed, please consult a doctor first.
What doses of Nitrofurantoin are available?
Nitrofurantoin is available in100mg and 50mg tablets. The recommended course of treatment will be decided by a doctor and can take up to 7 days. In most cases, the treatment course will be: 100mg twice daily for 3 days and 50 mg taken four times daily for 3 days. The cumulative dosage of 1,200 mg of Nitrofurantoin is usually enough to treat an ordinary infection of the bladder or urinary tract.
It is very important to take all the prescribed tablets and complete the course of antibiotics. Even though the symptoms of cystitis may rapidly ease, the bacteria that caused the infection could still be present inside your body. If you don’t take all the tablets, the bacteria may continue to multiply and the infection could return.
While you are taking the three-day course of Nitrofurantoin, you may be able to ease the symptoms of cystitis and aid recovery by drinking plenty of water. You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine (including caffeinated soft drinks) and spicy foods.
How do I take Nitrofurantoin?
Always take this Nitrofurnation exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you, and Check with them if you are not sure.
Tablets should be swallowed whole. Nitrofurantoin tablets should always be taken with food or milk. This will help to avoid stomach upset and also help the absorption to make the medicine work more effectively.
The normal dosage depends on the type of infection you have and instructions should be written on the label provided by the pharmacist.
The usual doses are: For treatment of infections: Either one 50mg tablet or one 100mg tablet four times a day for seven days. For prevention of further infections: Either one 50mg tablet or one 100mg tablet at bedtime. For prevention of infections during surgery: One 50mg tablet four times a day on the day of the operation and three days thereafter.
Can I take Nitrofurantoin and drink alcohol?
Doctors generally do not recommend combining alcohol with any prescription medication, including antibiotics. In any case, it is strongly recommended that you completely abstain from drinking any alcohol if you are suffering from cystitis. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate your symptoms.
What are the side effects of Nitrofurantoin?
Your Nitrofurantoin tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference. Always take the tablets exactly as directed by your doctor.
If you notice any sudden wheeziness, difficulty in breathing, swelling of the eyelids, face or lips, rash or itching (especially affecting your whole body) STOP TAKING your medicine and consult with a doctor immediately.
A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
If you experience any of the side effects detailed below stop taking Nitrofurantoin Tablets and consult your doctor.
- Symptoms of fever, flu, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, blood in your stool and weakness. fever, chills, cough and shortness of breath.
- symptoms of jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, joint pain and swelling.
- headache, extreme changes of mood or mental state, confusion, weakness, blurred vision may occur.
- raised pressure in the skull (causing severe headaches)
- cyanosis (blue or purple coloration of the skin)
- short-term hair loss
- urinary infection by germs which are not sensitive to Nitrofurantoin Tablets.
- inflammation of kidney tissue surrounding tubules, causing renal impairment.
- Skin Rash
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):
- loss of consciousness (collapse).
If you experience serious discomfort, we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When should I not take Nitrofurantoin?
Do not take Nitrofurantoin Tablets if:
- you are allergic to Nitrofurantoin, other medicines containing nitrofurantoin or any of the other ingredients of the tablet (mentioned in the patient leaflet).
- you have kidney disease (consult with a doctor if you are not sure)
- you are in the final stages of pregnancy
- (labour or delivery).
- you are suffering from a blood disorder (porphyria)
- you are diagnosed with G6PD deficiency or breastfeeding a baby diagnosed with G6PD.
- your child is under three months of age.
consult your doctor if you are not sure about any of the above.
Talk to your doctor before taking Nitrofurantoin if:
- you have diabetes
- you are suffering from any illness-causing severe weakness
- you have anemia
- you have a history of allergic reactions
- if you have any problems with your kidneys.
- you have any disease of the lungs, liver or nervous system.
- you have false-positive results on testing your urine for glucose
- your urine is dark yellow or brown coloured.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.