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.

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Summary of available medications

Medication Quantity Price
Nitrofurantoin 100mg 6 capsules (1 course of treatment) £12.95

All medications


Medication Quantity Price
Nitrofurantoin 100mg 6 capsules (1 course of treatment) £12.95

All prices exclude prescription fee

What is nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) such as cystitis. It targets the bacteria which has caused the infection and prevents it from multiplying before it can spread to the kidneys and lead to a more serious condition. This reduces the symptoms associated with cystitis, such as pain when urinating, the need to urinate more frequently, and pain in the lower abdomen.

How long does the treatment last for?

One course of nitrofurantoin lasts 3 days, within which period the symptoms of cystitis will have cleared or significantly reduced.

Does nitrofurantoin alter the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill?

As with other antibiotics, nitrofurantoin can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill and you should take additional precautions to prevent pregnancy (e.g. use of a condom).

Is there any alternative treatments for cystitis?

Trimethoprim is also prescribed by the doctor as a short course to cure cystitis. It also helps reduce the risk of recurring infections in the future.


Nitrofurantoin should not be taken if you are in the final weeks of pregnancy, breastfeeding, allergic to any of the ingredients, or are suffering from a kidney disease, porphyria or G6PD. Seek medical advice before taking nitrofurantoin if you have diabetes, anaemia, or have illnesses of the liver, lungs or nervous system. Driving and operating machinery should be avoided as this medication may cause dizziness and drowsiness.

The active ingredient is nitrofurantoin which kills the bacteria in the urethra by entering the bacterial cells and damaging their DNA, preventing them from repairing themselves or reproducing.

Take one capsule twice daily for three days.

Common possible side effects of nitrofurantoin include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach ache
  • Yellow or brown coloured urine