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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   

Furazolidone (Oral)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Furoxone
  • Furoxone Liquid


  • Antibacterial, oral-local
  • Antiprotozoal


Furazolidone (fyoor-a-ZOE-li-done ) is used to treat bacterial and protozoal (proe-toe-ZOE-al) infections. It works by killing bacteria and protozoa (tiny, one-celled animals). Some protozoa are parasites that can cause many different kinds of infections in the body.

Furazolidone is taken by mouth. It works inside the intestinal tract to treat cholera, colitis, and/or diarrhea caused by bacteria, and giardiasis (jee-ar-DYE-a-siss) . This medicine is sometimes given with other medicines for bacterial infections.

Furazolidone may cause some serious side effects when taken with certain foods, beverages, or other medicines . Check with your health care professional for a list of products that should be avoided.

Furazolidone is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral suspension (U.S.)
  • Tablets (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For furazolidone, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to furazolidone or to any related medicines such as nitrofurantoin (e.g., Furadantin) or nitrofurazone (e.g., Furacin). Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Studies have not been done in humans. However, furazolidone has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans or in animals given high doses for a long time.

Breast-feeding- It is not known whether furazolidone passes into breast milk. However, breast-feeding is not recommended for nursing babies up to 1 month of age because furazolidone may cause anemia.

Children- Because furazolidone may cause anemia, use in infants up to 1 month of age is not recommended.

Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of furazolidone in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking furazolidone, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Amphetamines or
  • Appetite suppressants (diet pills) or
  • Ephedrine (e.g., Primatene) or
  • Isocarboxazid (e.g., Marplan) or
  • Phenelzine (e.g., Nardil) or
  • Phenylephrine (e.g., Neo-Synephrine) or
  • Phenylpropanolamine (e.g., Dexatrim) or
  • Procarbazine (e.g., Matulane) or
  • Pseudoephedrine (e.g., Sudafed) or
  • Selegiline (e.g., Eldepryl) or
  • Tranylcypromine (e.g., Parnate) or
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline [e.g., Elavil], amoxapine [e.g., Asendin], clomipramine [e.g., Anafranil], desipramine [e.g., Pertofrane], doxepin [e.g., Sinequan], imipramine [e.g., Tofranil], nortriptyline [e.g., Aventyl], protriptyline [e.g., Vivactil], trimipramine [e.g., Surmontil])-The use of furazolidone with any of these medicines may result in a severe increase in blood pressure

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of furazolidone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (lack of G6PD enzyme)-Patients with G6PD-deficiency may develop mild anemia while taking furazolidone

Proper Use of This Medicine

Do not give furazolidone to infants up to 1 month of age , unless otherwise directed by your doctor. This medicine may cause anemia in these patients.

Furazolidone may be taken with food to lessen the chance of an upset stomach.

To use the oral suspension :

  • Use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep taking furazolidone for the full time of treatment , even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. Do not miss any doses .


The dose of furazolidone will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of furazolidone. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The number of tablets or teaspoonfuls of suspension that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking furazolidone .

  • For oral dosage forms (oral suspension or tablets):
    • For cholera or diarrhea caused by bacteria:
      • Adults-100 milligrams (mg) taken four times a day for five to seven days.
      • Children up to 1 month of age-Use is not recommended.
      • Children 1 month of age and over-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1.25 mg per kilogram (kg) (0.56 mg per pound) of body weight taken four times a day for five to seven days.
    • For giardiasis:
      • Adults-100 mg taken four times a day for seven to ten days.
      • Children up to 1 month of age-Use is not recommended.
      • Children 1 month of age and over-Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1.25 mg to 2 mg per kg (0.56 to 0.90 mg per pound) of body weight taken four times a day for seven to ten days.

Missed dose-

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store the tablet form of this medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Keep the oral suspension form of this medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This is to check whether or not the infection is cleared up completely.

If your symptoms do not improve within a week, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Drinking alcoholic beverages or taking other alcohol-containing preparations (for example, elixirs, cough syrups, tonics, or injections of alcohol) while taking furazolidone may rarely cause problems. These problems include increased side effects such as redness of the face, difficult breathing, fainting, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. These side effects usually go away within 24 hours without treatment. However, these effects may occur if you drink alcoholic beverages for up to 4 days after you stop taking furazolidone. Therefore, you should not drink alcoholic beverages or take other alcohol-containing preparations while you are taking furazolidone and for 4 days after stopping it .

Certain foods, drinks, or other medicines may cause very dangerous reactions, such as severe high blood pressure, when taken with furazolidone. Aged or fermented foods and drinks commonly contain tyramine or other substances that increase blood pressure. To avoid such reactions, the following measures are recommended:

  • Do not eat foods that have a high tyramine content (most common in foods that are aged or fermented to increase their flavor), such as cheeses; yeast or meat extracts; fava or broad bean pods; smoked or pickled meat, poultry, or fish; fermented sausage (bologna, pepperoni, salami, summer sausage) or other fermented meat; or any overripe fruit. If a list of these foods is not given to you, ask your health care professional to provide one .
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or alcohol-free or reduced-alcohol beer and wine .
  • Do not eat or drink large amounts of caffeine-containing food or beverages such as chocolate, coffee, tea, or cola.
  • Do not take any other medicines unless approved or prescribed by your doctor . This includes nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) appetite suppressants (diet pills) or medicine for colds, sinus problems, or hay fever or other allergies.
  • Do not take any of the above-listed foods, drinks, or medicine for at least 2 weeks after you stop taking furazolidone . They may continue to react with this medicine during that time.
  • Other foods may also contain tyramine or other substances that increase blood pressure. However, these products generally do not cause serious problems when taken with furazolidone, especially if eaten when fresh and in small amounts. These include yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, chocolate, and soy sauce. If you have any questions about this, ask your health care professional. Also ask for a list of foods, beverages, or medicines that may cause serious problems when taken with furazolidone.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Rare
    • Fever;  itching;  joint pain;  skin rash or redness;  sore throat 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • Less common
    • Abdominal or stomach pain;  diarrhea ;  headache;  nausea or vomiting  

This medicine commonly causes dark yellow to brown discoloration of urine. This side effect does not usually need medical attention.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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