Nitrofurantoin is the name for the drug as a whole.
Urinary anti-infectives are a type of drug.

Describe Macrobid.

A drug called Macrobid fights bacteria in the body.

Macrobid is used to treat infections in the urinary tract.

Macrobid can also be used for other things that aren’t in this guide.


You shouldn’t take Macrobid if you have severe kidney disease, trouble urinating, or a history of nitrofurantoin-related jaundice or liver problems.

If you are in the last 2 to 4 weeks of your pregnancy, you should not take Macrobid.

Before you take this drug

You shouldn’t take Macrobid if you are allergic to nitrofurantoin or if you have:

  • severe kidney disease,
  • A history of jaundice or liver problems caused by taking nitrofurantoin,
  • If you are urinating less than usual or not at all, or
  • If you are in the last 2–4 weeks of pregnancy.

If you are in the last 2 to 4 weeks of your pregnancy, you should not take Macrobid.

To make sure Macrobid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, anemia, diabetes, an electrolyte imbalance or a vitamin B deficiency, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, or any other disease that makes you weak.

FDA pregnancy category B. Macrobid is not likely to hurt an unborn baby in the early stages of pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or want to get pregnant while you are getting treatment.

Nitrofurantoin can get into breast milk and could hurt a baby who is being fed by its mother. If you are taking Macrobid, you shouldn’t breastfeed.

Macrobid shouldn’t be given to a child younger than 1 month.

Similar drugs include amoxicillin, doxycycline, cephalexin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, Augmentin, and ceftriaxone.

What do I do when I take Macrobid?

Take Macrobid just as your doctor told you to. Follow all of the directions on the label of your medicine. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller doses, or for longer or shorter periods of time than is recommended.

Eat while taking Macrobid.

Just before you measure a dose, shake the oral suspension (liquid) well. You can measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe that comes with it, or with a spoon or cup made just for that purpose. If you don’t have a device for measuring doses, you can get one from your chemist.

You can make it easier to swallow by mixing your liquid dose with water, milk, or fruit juice. Right away, drink the whole mixture.

Use this medicine for as long as your doctor says to. Your symptoms could get better before the infection is gone for good. If you miss doses, you may also get more infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics. Macrobid will not help with a viral illness like a cold or the flu.

If a person has a simple UTI, Macrobid is usually given for 5 days in women and 7 days in men.

If you take this medicine for a long time to prevent UTIs, you may need to see your doctor often for tests.

Some lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine can give strange results if Macrobid is also being used. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking Macrobid.

Keep at room temperature and out of the light, heat, and moisture.

What will happen if I don’t take a dose?

As soon as you remember, take the dose you forgot. If it’s almost time for your next dose, don’t take the one you missed. Do not take more medicine than usual to make up for the dose you missed.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical help right away or call 1-800-222-1222 to reach the Poison Help line.

What to avoid

Antibiotics can make you sick to your stomach, which could mean you have a new infection. Call your doctor if you have diarrhoea that is watery or has blood in it. If your doctor hasn’t told you to, don’t take any medicine to stop the diarrhoea.

Don’t take antacids unless your doctor tells you to. Use only the antacid that your doctor tells you to. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to take in nitrofurantoin.

Macrobid side effects

If you have hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, you may be having an allergic reaction to Macrobid and need to see a doctor right away.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Diarrhoea that is watery or bloody;
  • Sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
  • New or worsening cough; trouble breathing;
  • Fever, chills, body aches, tiredness;
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet;
  • Liver problems like nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin.

People who are sick or older may be more likely to have serious side effects.

Some of the most common side effects of Macrobid are headaches, dizziness, gas, stomach pain, mild diarrhea, and itching or discharge from the vaginal area.

This isn’t a full list of all possible side effects, and there may be others. You should talk to your doctor about any side effects. You can call 1-800-FDA-1088 to tell the FDA about side effects.

Information dosage

Normal dose for an adult with cystitis:

Regular release: 50 to 100 mg orally four times a day for one week or for at least three days after urine is clear.

Dual release: 100 mg twice a day by mouth for seven days

Normal dose for adults to prevent a case of cystitis:

Regular release: 50–100 mg once a day at bedtime, taken by mouth.

Usual dose for cystitis in children:

Regular release: 1 month or older: 5 to 7 mg/kg/day (up to 400 mg/day) orally in 4 doses.

More than 12 years old: Take 100 mg by mouth twice a day for 7 days

Normal dose for cystitis in children Prophylaxis:

Regular release: 1 month or older: 1–2 mg/kg/day (up to 100 mg/day). one to two doses taken by mouth

How will other medicines affect Macrobid?

Other drugs, like prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products, may interact with nitrofurantoin. Tell each of your health care providers about all the medicines you take now and any you start or stop taking.

Where can I find out more about this?

Remember to keep this and all other medicines away from children, never give your medicines to other people, and only use Macrobid for what it was prescribed for.

Questions that are often asked

  • Is meloxicam a sulfa drug?
  • Does Macrobid lessen how well birth control pills work?
  • How are UTIs treated with antibiotics?
  • What does “dual release” nitrofurantoin mean?

More about Macrobid (nitrofurantoin)

  • Check interactions
  • Compare alternatives
  • Pricing and coupons
  • Reviews (798)
  • Drug pictures
  • Side effects
  • Dosage information
  • During pregnancy
  • Generics available
  • Support group
  • Drug Class: Anti-infectives for the urinary
  • Breastfeeding
  • En esponol

Patient resources

Different brands


Professional Resources

  • Prescription Information

Related Treatment Guides

  • Bladder infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • How to avoid a bladder infection

For more details

Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure that the information on this page applies to your situation.

Medical Disclaimer

Copyright 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.02.

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