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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Nitrofurantoin

Why is this medication prescribed?

Nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic, eliminates bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Nitrofurantoin comes as a capsule and a liquid to take by mouth. Nitrofurantoin usually is taken two or four times a day for at least 7 days. Shake the oral liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Take it with a full glass of water and with meals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nitrofurantoin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking nitrofurantoin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to nitrofurantoin or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antacids, antibiotics, benztropine (Cogentin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), probenecid (Benemid), trihexyphenidyl (Artane), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have anemia, kidney disease, lung disease, nerve damage, or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency (an inherited blood disease).
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking nitrofurantoin, call your doctor. Nitrofurantoin should not be taken by women in the last month of pregnancy.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Nitrofurantoin may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from nitrofurantoin are not common, they can occur. Your urine may turn dark yellow or brown; this effect is harmless. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • difficulty breathing
  • excessive tiredness
  • fever or chills
  • chest pain
  • persistent cough
  • numbness, tingling, or pinprick sensation in the fingers and toes
  • muscle weakness
  • swelling of the lips or tongue
  • skin rash

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to nitrofurantoin.

If you have diabetes, use Clinistix or Tes-Tape instead of Clinitest to test your urine for sugar. Nitrofurantoin can cause Clinitest to show false results.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the nitrofurantoin, call your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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