Nitrofurantoin

Order Nitrofurantoin for UTIs online

Nitrofurantoin antibiotics also known as MacroBid are used to fight bacteria and urinary tract infections. Nitrofurantoin is one of the preferred antibiotics to cure cystitis and reduce recurring infections along with Trimethoprim.

You can buy Nitrofurantoin online through our online doctor and pharmacy service by filling in a simple questionnaire. One of our GMC registered British doctors will review your answers and issue a prescription to be dispensed and dispatched from our NHS pharmacy.

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50mg12 capsules17.00
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About

What is Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic which is used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs such as cystitis). UTIs occur when bacteria enters through the urethra into the bladder and begin to multiply. They mainly affect women as the female urethra is shorter, making it easier for bacteria to travel from the urethra to the bladder and cause an infection. 

How does Nitrofurantoin work?

When you take Nitrofurantoin it is filtered out of your blood and into the urine. It works by damaging the cells within the bacteria causing the infection. This stops them from being able to repair or multiply, eventually killing them off and clearing up the infection.

How long does it take for Nitrofurantoin to work?

Nitrofurantoin will start to work within a few days. The length of treatment is usually 3-7 days. It's important to keep taking the medicine for the length of time prescribed by your doctor to ensure that the infection has been adequately treated. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

Each capsule contains 50 or 100mg of Nitrofurantoin as the active ingredient. 

Inactive ingredients

The additional ingredients in the medication are lactose, maize starch, pregelatinised maize starch, sodium starch glycollate and magnesium stearate.

Please Note: Different generic brands of Nitrofurantoin may contain different inactive ingredients.

Dosage

How to take it

Always use Nitrofurantoin as instructed by your doctor. The dose and frequency you take will depend on the type of infection you have. The standard dose to treat a UTI is 200mg a day which is split into either two or four tablets each day. Your tablets should be evenly spaced throughout the day, leaving at least 12 hours between your morning and nighttime dose if you are taking two lots of 100mg per day. Your treatment will last for 3-7 days and it is important that you finish the course of antibiotics given to make sure the infection is treated effectively and will not resurface.

When should you start Nitrofurantoin?

You should start taking Nitrofurantoin as soon as possible, as prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking it twice a day, then leave 12 hours between your doses. For example, if you take your morning tablet at 9am then wait until 9pm to take your evening one. 

Do I need to finish a course of Nitrofurantoin, even when my symptoms have resolved?

It's important to keep taking Nitrofurantoin even if your symptoms appear to have disappeared and you are feeling better. If you stop taking it before you are supposed to then this leaves you at risk of the infection returning.

What if I take too many Nitrofurantoin tablets?

If you take a double dose of Nitrofurantoin then it is unlikely to cause an adverse effect. If you have taken more than two, speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice. Even if you don't experience any side effects, if you are worried then reach out for advice. 

Side Effects

Nitrofurantoin side effects

Common side effects include: 

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headaches 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Dark yellow or brown urine 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness

  If you experience dark coloured urine, this is normal and not something to worry about. 

Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects: 

  • Tingling, weakness or numbness in your muscles or joints 
  • Jaundice 
  • Fever, chills, chest pain, coughing or shortness of the breath
  • Feeling unwell alongside unexplained bruising or bleeding and feverish symptoms
  • A severe headache 
  • Swelling in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat; difficulty breathing; a rash or tightness in the chest. This is a sign of an allergic reaction. 

Contraindications

Before taking Nitrofurantoin inform your doctor if: 

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to the medicine or any others 
  • You have porphyria or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • You have diabetes or severe kidney disease 
  • You have anemia 
  • You have a vitamin B deficiency 
  • You have a condition which causes significant weakness 

Drug interactions

Always inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking. In particular if you are taking: 

  • Antacids 
  • Medications to treat gout
  • Over the counter remedies for cystitis 
  • Quinolones

How to cope with Nitrofurantoin side effects

Drink plenty of water and make sure you stay hydrated if you experience headaches or sickness. You can take over the counter painkillers like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to clear up a headache and make sure you get enough rest if you get sick or have diarrhea. If you get dizzy spells then sit or lie down until it passes and do not overexert yourself while you are feeling lightheaded or unwell. Taking Nitrofurantoin with food can help to ease nausea, as can eating smaller meals, avoiding anything too rich or spicy. 

Will Nitrofurantoin interfere with my fertility?

Nitrofurantoin has not been shown to affect fertility in either women or men. If you are planning to get pregnant, then discuss this with your doctor before taking Nitrofurantoin to ensure the treatment is suitable for you. 

Nitrofurantoin and alcohol

You can drink alcohol with Nitrofurantoin without it having an adverse effect.

Does Nitrofurantoin cause/aggravate thrush? - Why?

Taking Nitrofurantoin for a prolonged period of time can cause thrush. This is because the antibiotic destroys the bacteria present in the body which protects you from developing thrush, leaving you at risk of developing it. This won't happen for a standard 3-7 day treatment, only if you are taking it over a longer time period, for example if your UTI keeps returning. If you experience symptoms of thrush then seek treatment from your doctor or pharmacist, letting them know that you are taking Nitrofurantoin for a urinary tract infection.  

Nitrofurantoin and pregnancy

Nitrofurantoin is safe to use during pregnancy. The antibiotic is directed to the urine and does not pass through the bloodstream. 

Treatment Options

How to avoid UTIs

There are some things you can do to help prevent a UTI. These include: staying hydrated to keep your urine healthy, which will help to flush out bacteria; wiping from front to back after using the toilet and urinating after sexual intercourse to empty the bladder. Contraceptive methods which use spermicide can encourage bacteria growth, as can using perfumed feminine washes, powders or sprays around the genitals.

Alternatives to Nitrofurantoin

Other medications which may be given to treat a UTI include Trimethoprim, Fosfomycin, Cephalexin and Ceftriaxone. 

Macrobid vs Nitrofurantoin

Macrobid is a brand name of Nitrofurantoin which is the generic name for the antibiotic. Both medicines work in the same way to treat infections of the bladder. 

Cranberry juice and Nitrofurantoin

There is no evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice can have an effect on Nitrofurantoin or help to ease the symptoms of a UTI. 

Does Nitrofurantoin work for UTIs in men?

Men are likely to be given a different type of antibiotic to treat a UTI. This is because the dose of Nitrofurantoin received into the male urethra is too low for it to effectively treat the infection. Treatment for a male UTI is usually longer than for women. 

Q&A

Is Nitrofurantoin an antibiotic?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It works in a different way to many other types of antibiotic as it is directed straight to the urine rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream.   

Can Nitrofurantoin help an STI?

Nitrofurantoin cannot be used to treat a different type of infection. Due to the way it works, Nitrofurantoin is only suitable for a UTI as it is filtered out of the blood and directly into the urine. 

Does Nitrofurantoin treat kidney infections?

Nitrofurantoin may be used to treat a kidney infection but it is not always effective as it is designed specifically for clearing up urinary tract infections. Your doctor will assess your symptoms and the severity of your infection before prescribing you with the appropriate medication.

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I moved 150 miles from my GP (to uni) and was unable to go home or visit a walk in for another 2 days due to being at work (12.5 hour shifts). I filled out a quick form - and 1.5 days later I had my antibiotics delivered to my door and I am on the mend. 10/10.

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