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Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin

Description

A bacteriostatic or bactericidal agent depending on the concentration and susceptibility of the infecting organism. Nitrofurantoin is active against some gram positive organisms such as S. aureus, S. epidermidis, S. saprophyticus, Enterococcus faecalis, S. agalactiae, group D streptococci, viridians streptococci and Corynebacterium. Its spectrum of activity against gram negative organisms includes E. coli, Enterobacter, Neisseria, Salmonella and Shigella. It may be used as an alternative to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for treating urinary tract infections though it may be less effective at eradicating vaginal bacteria. May also be used in females as prophylaxis against recurrent cystitis related to coitus. Nitrofurantoin is highly stable to the development of bacterial resistance, a property thought to be due to its multiplicity of mechanisms of action.

Why it’s used

Nitrofurantoin oral capsule treats and prevents urinary tract infections that are caused by certain types of bacteria.

How it works

Nitrofurantoin belongs to a class of drugs called antimicrobials or antibiotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Nitrofurantoin helps kill the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. It only works against certain types of bacteria.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or headache may occur. Take this medication with food to help minimize nausea. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medication may cause your urine to turn dark yellow or brown in color. This effect is harmless and will disappear when the medication is stopped.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This medication may rarely cause very serious (possibly fatal) lung problems. Lung problems may occur within the first month of treatment or after long-term use of nitrofurantoin (generally for 6 months or longer). Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of lung problems, including: persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath/trouble breathing, joint/muscle pain, bluish/purplish skin.

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.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

 

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