Nitrofurantoin should be taken if you need to prevent specific urinary tract infections, because it’s an effective and well-known antibiotic that works by stopping the bacteria growth. So, it’s not effective against any viral infections, such as flu. People are not allowed to misuse or overuse this medication because they will end up with its reduced effectiveness and other complications. Nitrofurantoin is not intended to be used by babies because of the high risk of developing specific blood problems.
How Patients Need to Use It
You should take this medication orally, with milk or food to prevent stomach ulcers. Most doctors prescribe their patients to take Nitrofurantoin 4 times a day to treat their infections and only once a day (before their bedtime) to prevent these medical conditions. It’s necessary to avoid using any magnesium-containing antacids when undergoing this treatment because they bind with Nitrofurantoin, thus, preventing its proper absorption. Your treatment length and dosage are based on your response and overall health condition. For kids, their regular doses are usually based on their weight.
Common and Rare Nitrofurantoin Adverse Effects
This medication may lead to developing certain side effects, such as:
Loss of appetite and headache;
Vomiting and nausea.
To minimize nausea, you should take Nitrofurantoin with meals, and this medicine may change the color of your urine, but this side effect is harmless. Most patients who use this medication don’t have any side effects at all. Nitrofurantoin is associated with rare and serious lung problems, especially when it comes to its long-term use. In very rare cases, this medication also leads to the following severe side effects:
Shortness of breath and chest pain;
Persistent and unusual cough;
New signs of infection and vision changes;
Easy bleeding and bruising;
Mood and mental changes;
Severe and regular headaches;
Nerve, liver, and blood problems;
Yellow skin and eyes;
Unusual tiredness and allergies;
Fast and irregular heartbeats;
Tingling and numbness of legs and arms.
Besides, you shouldn’t combine Nitrofurantoin with narcotic pain killers and anti-diarrhea pills, especially if you have stomach pain, diarrhea and blood in your stool.
Most Important Contraindications
Before taking this medication, you should inform doctors if you have any possible allergies and such health conditions as kidney complications, liver problems, little or no urine output, specific genetic ailments, blood disorders, lung and eye diseases, nerve issues, diabetes, vitamin B deficiency, mineral imbalance, etc. Older patients are more likely to develop side effects when undergoing this treatment, Nitrofurantoin shouldn’t be combined with certain medications because of possible drug interactions that can be dangerous. Don’t combine it with probenecids and sulfinpyrazone.