Nitrofurantoin

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat infections of the urinary tract caused by certain bacteria. 

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Take this medication with or after food.
  • You should complete each course of antibiotics even if you feel better as incomplete treatment might cause the infection to return or cause antibiotic resistance. When antibiotic resistance happens, the antibiotic will not be able to control the growth or kill the bacteria anymore.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You have Glucose-6-Phosphate-Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding 
  • You have liver or kidney problems

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

The common side effects of this medication include:
  • Nausea or vomiting, stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
Nitrofurantoin may also cause your urine to turn dark yellow or brown in colour.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Other rare but serious side effects include:
  • Difficulty breathing, fever, chills, chest pain and cough
  • Serious skin rash that looks red, swollen, blistered or peeling
  • Very sensitive to touch, sharp pain, numbness or having a tingling feeling in your feet or hands
  • Signs of liver injury, which may include dark coloured urine, light coloured stools, severe nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain or yellowing of skin or eyes.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.


What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

This medication can affect the levels of other medications in your body. Do let your doctor if you are taking other medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products, before starting on this antibiotic.

Inform your doctor if you are taking magnesium trisilicate, a medication used for gastric discomfort.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Please return any unused or expired antibiotics to the pharmacy where you received it from.


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on March 2021




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Nitrofurantoin

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