Nitrofurantoin is the first line (in the UK) prescription treatment available to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections (including cystitis) in females. A short 3 day course is usually enough to completely clear an infection that otherwise would not clear without treatment.
Nitrofurantoin is highly effective in treating UTIs. Symptoms should improve within two days of starting treatment. If your symptoms do not improve within this time or they worsen you should contact your doctor.
Nitrofurantoin should not be used by people suffering with certain conditions or those using certain medications. You should always read the patient information leaflet (PIL) for Nitrofurantoin before taking this medication to ensure it is safe for you to use.
Nitrofurantoin is now widely considered first line treatment in front of Trimethoprim. Trimethoprim is still a useful alternative to treat acute UTI in those who can not tolerate Nitrofurantoin.
Nitrofurantoin 50mg tablets should be taken with food or milk and swallowed whole. The dose for the treatment of acute UTI is ONE TABLET to be taken FOUR TIMES A DAY for three days.
Nitrofurantoin like all medicines can cause certain side effects although not all patients are affected.
Nitrofurantoin can cause dizziness and drowsiness so if this does affect you then you should not drive or operate machinery until such symptoms go away. It may also colour your urine yellow or brown, which is completely harmless. It can also cause false-positive blood glucose tests. These symptoms are usually very short lived as this is only a 3 day course.
For more information on other side effects that may be caused by Nitrofurantoin, please see the patient information leaflet
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Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.