Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic drug used to treat urinary tract infections, including inflammation of the bladder ( cystitis ) or kidney infections.

Nitrofurantoin works by inhibiting the formation of proteins that make up the bacterial cell wall. This drug also inhibits the formation of genetic material from bacterial cells. That way, the bacteria will die and the infection can be overcome.

Nitrofurantoin cannot be used to treat infections caused by viruses. 

Merek dagang nitrofurantoin: Cleanaren, Nitrofurantoin, Urfadyn

What is Nitrofurantoin

Group Prescription drug
Category Antibiotics
Benefit Treat and prevent urinary tract infections
Used by Adults and children
Nitrofurantoin for pregnant and lactating women Category B:  Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

However, this drug should not be used at 38–42 weeks of gestation.

Nitrofurantoin can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Tablets, capsules, syrup

Precautions Before Taking Nitrofurantoin

The following are some things you should pay attention to before taking nitrofurantoin:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Nitrofurantoin should not be used by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had severe kidney disease , severe liver disease , difficulty urinating, diarrhea , lung disease, G6PD deficiency , porphyria, peripheral neuropathy  , vitamin B deficiency, diabetes , or untreated electrolyte disturbances .
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to be vaccinated with live vaccines, such as typhoid vaccine, while having treatment with nitrofurantoin, because these drugs may decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products,
  • Immediately see a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction , overdose, or serious side effects after taking nitrofurantoin.

Dosage and Rules for Use Nitrofurantoin

The following are common nitrofurantoin dosages based on the purpose of treatment and the age of the patient:

Purpose: Treatment of cystitis and urinary tract infections

  • Adult: 50–100 mg, 2–4 times daily. Treatment is carried out for 1 week or at least up to 3 days after being declared infection-free.
  • Children over 1 month old: 5–7 mg/kgBB per day, divided into 4 consumption schedules. The maximum dose is 400 mg per day. Treatment is carried out for 1 week or at least up to 3 days after sterile urine.

Purpose: Prevention of cystitis

  • Adult: 50–100 mg once daily at bedtime.
  • Children over 1 month: 1–2 mg/kg, 1–2 times a day. The maximum dose is 100 mg per day.

How to Take Nitrofurantoin Properly

Always follow the doctor 's advice and read the instructions on the drug packaging before taking nitrofurantoin. Do not start or stop using nitrofurantoin or increase or decrease the dose of the drug without consulting your doctor first.

Nitrofurantoin is taken after meals. Swallow the nitrofurantoin tablets or capsules whole with the help of a glass of water. Do not open capsules, crush, split, or chew nitrofurantoin tablets, as this can affect the effectiveness of the drug.

Before taking nitrofurantoin syrup, shake the medicine bottle first. Use the measuring spoon that is on the package to measure the dose of the drug. Do not use other measuring devices, such as tablespoons, because the doses can be different.

If you forget to take nitrofurantoin, consume it as soon as you remember if the distance to the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose. Tell your doctor if you frequently forget to take nitrofurantoin.

Store nitrofurantoin at room temperature, in a dry place, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Keep this drug out of reach of children.

Nitrofurantoin Interactions with Other Drugs

The use of niotrofurantoin with other drugs can cause several interaction effects, including:

  • Decreased absorption of nitrofurantoin when used with antacids containing magnesium trisilicate
  • Increased risk of poisoning or toxicity due to increased blood levels of nitrofurantoin, when used with probenecid or sulfinpyrazone
  • Increased risk of developing antagonistic drug effects when used with quinolone antibiotics
  • Decreased effectiveness of nitrofurantoin in treating bacterial infections when used with acetazolamide
  • Decreased effectiveness of norfloxacin or live vaccines, such as the polio vaccine and typhoid vaccine

Nitrofurantoin Side Effects and Dangers

There are several side effects that can occur after consuming nitrofurantoin, namely:

  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting

Consult a doctor if these side effects do not improve or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic drug reaction or more serious side effects, the following:

  • Disturbance or damage to the lungs, which can be characterized by symptoms such as persistent coughing, chest pain , difficulty breathing, or lips and fingertips that look blue
  • Liver disease, which may be characterized by dark urine, jaundice , or severe nausea and vomiting
  • Infectious disease, which can be characterized by fever or sore throat that doesn't get better
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Tingling , numbness in the hands and feet, or muscle weakness
  • Severe diarrhea , blood or mucus in the stool, or severe stomach pain
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