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Buy nitrofurantoin safely, securely and easily in a few simple steps. Start a consultation today to check your eligibility with a prescribing clinician, at no cost to you.

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Manufactured by various MHRA-approved generic manufacturers


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Updated on 12 Jun 2024

What to do if you missed your nitrofurantoin dose

The MHRA's reporting program for suspected side effects to medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes, medical device incidents, defective or falsified (fake) products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to ensure safe and effective use.

Learn more about reporting side effects

Other known brand names

Macrodantin, Macrobid, Furadantin

About nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin is an antibacterial agent used for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of bacterial infections, cystitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

NowPatient offers nitrofurantoin as a treatment for cystitis only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of nitrofurantoin

  • Nitrofurantoin is an antimicrobial used to treat bacterial infections, cystitis and UTIs
  • Nitrofurantoin can be taken up to 3 days
  • Nitrofurantoin has some common side effects which include nausea and vomiting
  • It can be dangerous if you take nitrofurantoin with certain medications. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician

Who is nitrofurantoin not suitable for?

Nitrofurantoin may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking nitrofurantoin if you:

  • Are allergic to nitrofurantoin
  • Have liver or kidney disease
  • Have anemia or folate deficiency (low folic acid in your blood)
  • Have diabetes
  • Have vitamin B deficiency
  • Have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency

How and where to get nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is only available with a prescription. It is not available over the counter at a pharmacy.

NowPatient does not allow customers to buy nitrofurantoin directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of cystitis, you can discuss if nitrofurantoin is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by NowPatient.

Dosage and strength for nitrofurantoin for cystitis

Nitrofurantoin is available as a modified release capsule and as an oral suspension.

Information about how to take nitrofurantoin tablets for cystitis

Nitrofurantoin 100mg modified release capsule should be taken twice daily (every 12 hours) until the prescribed course is complete. It is normally a 3-day course for cystitis.

Read the patient information leaflet provided with your medication or speak to a healthcare professional for further advice.

What happens if you take too much nitrofurantoin?

If you take more than prescribed, then it can lead to some unpleasant side effects. You should talk to your doctor or reach out to one of our prescribing clinicians, if you have taken too much nitrofurantoin and you experience any of the following side effects:

What are the side effects of nitrofurantoin?

Side effects of nitrofurantoin are split into common and serious.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin rash
  • Drowsiness

Serious side effects

  • Liver problems – upper abdominal pain, itching, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

If you experience any serious adverse effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast, have trouble breathing, have shortness of breath (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air), or have chest pain
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

Always report adverse effects to the MHRA yellow card reporting system. You can read more about this here How and where do I report side effects of my medication? – NowPatient

Information about taking nitrofurantoin at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

There is not enough evidence to suggest there are any drug interactions between herbal supplements and nitrofurantoin. In any event, you should let your prescribing clinician know if you are taking any herbal supplements or other prescription drugs, such as:

  • Antacids (magnesium trisilicate)
  • Ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, or moxifloxacin
  • Probenecid

Why might nitrofurantoin not work for cystitis?

Nitrofurantoin may not work for you. A common reason may include aquired nitrofurantoin resistance.

Can nitrofurantoin taken for cystitis be taken long term?

Taking a 3-day course of nitrofurantoin should clear most bladder and urinary tract infections. If your symptoms have not cleared once you have completed your course of nitrofurantoin, speak to your doctor for medical advice.

Is there a herbal nitrofurantoin?

No. Herbal nitrofurantoin does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Can women use nitrofurantoin?

Women can take nitrofurantoin for the treatment of cystitis. However, nitrofurantoin should not be used by pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Nitrofurantoin can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking nitrofurantoin?

You can eat and drink normally when taking nitrofurantoin capsules.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with cystitis?

You may modify your lifestyle in a number of ways, and this may have a positive impact on your cystitis. Drink plenty of water when suffering from cystitis to flush bacteria through your system and to help keep hydrated to prevent cystitis from recurring. Also, wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet, to prevent infection.

Alternatives to nitrofurantoin

Alternatives for the treatment of cystitis include trimethoprim, quinolones, or amoxicillin.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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