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By Hans P. Schlecht, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine
Christopher Bruno, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine

Nitrofurantoin is used only to prevent or treat urinary tract infections. How nitrofurantoin works is not understood.

Nitrofurantoin is taken by mouth.


Common Uses

Some Side Effects

Nausea and vomiting

Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)

In women or fetuses with G6PD deficiency, the breakdown of red blood cells

G6PD = deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Doctors do not give nitrofurantoin to people whose kidneys are not functioning well.

Use of Nitrofurantoin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Nitrofurantoin is not given to pregnant women when delivery is near nor during labor or delivery because at this time, it can damage and destroy red blood cells in newborns, resulting in hemolytic anemia.

Nitrofurantoin should not be taken during the first month of breastfeeding.

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