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Macrobid

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/14/2017
Macrobid Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 03/14/2017

Macrobid (nitrofurantoin monohydrate/macrocrystals) is an antibacterial drug used to treat urinary tract and bladder infections caused by Escherichia coli or Staphyloccocus saprophyticus strains of bacteria that are sensitive to this drug. Macrobid is available as a generic. Macrobid should not be used for pyelonephritis (kidney infections) or other deep tissue infections such as perinephric abscesses. Common side effects of Macrobid include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea,
  • rust-colored or brownish urine,
  • vaginal itching or discharge,
  • headaches, and
  • gas.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Macrobid including:

  • bloody or watery diarrhea,
  • sudden chest pain,
  • shortness of breath,
  • cough,
  • fever or chills,
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, or
  • easy bruising.

Macrodid is available in 100 mg tablets for use in children >12 years old and adults. Macrobid may interact with magnesium salicylate, choline magnesium salicylate, and probenecid or other gout medications. Tell your doctor all medication and supplements you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment with Macrobid. Macrobid is not expected to be harmful to a fetus, unless it is used during the last 2 to 4 weeks of pregnancy. Macrobid passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Breastfeeding while taking Macrobid is not recommended.

Our Macrobid Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Macrobid Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using nitrofurantoin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
  • shortness of breath, running out of breath easily;
  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
  • fever, chills, body aches, unexplained weight loss;
  • peripheral neuropathy - numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pale skin, easy bruising, confusion or weakness;
  • patchy skin color, red spots, or a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
  • severe headache, ringing in your ears, dizziness, vision problems, pain behind your eyes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, vomiting;
  • mild diarrhea;
  • rust-colored or brownish urine; or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin)

Macrobid Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

In clinical trials of Macrobid, the most frequent clinical adverse events that were reported as possibly or probably drug-related were nausea (8%), headache (6%): and flatulence (1.5%). Additional clinical adverse events reported as possibly or probably drug-related occurred in less than 1% of patients studied and are listed below within each body system in order of decreasing frequency:

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, constipation, emesis

Neurologic: Dizziness, drowsiness, amblyopia

Respiratory: Acute pulmonary hypersensitivity reaction (see WARNINGS)

Allergic: Pruritus, urticaria

Dermatologic: Alopecia

Miscellaneous: Fever, chills, malaise

The following additional clinical adverse events have been reported with the use of nitrofurantoin:

Gastrointestinal: Sialadenitis, pancreatitis. There have been sporadic reports of pseudomembranous colitis with the use of nitrofurantoin. The onset of pseudomembranous colitis symptoms may occur during or after antimicrobial treatment. (See WARNINGS.)

Neurologic: Peripheral neuropathy, which may become severe or irreversible, has occurred. Fatalities have been reported. Conditions such as renal impairment (creatinine clearance under 60 mL per minute or clinically significant elevated serum creatinine), anemia, diabetes mellitus, electrolyte imbalance, vitamin B deficiency, and debilitating diseases may increase the possibility of peripheral neuropathy. (See WARNINGS.)

Asthenia, vertigo, and nystagmus also have been reported with the use of nitrofurantoin.

Benign intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri), confusion, depression, optic neuritis, and psychotic reactions have been reported rarely. Bulging fontanels, as a sign of benign intracranial hypertension in infants, have been reported rarely.

Respiratory

CHRONIC, SUBACUTE, OR ACUTE PULMONARY HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS MAY OCCUR WITH THE USE OF NITROFURANTOIN.

CHRONIC PULMONARY REACTIONS GENERALLY OCCUR IN PATIENTS WHO HAVE RECEIVED CONTINUOUS TREATMENT FOR SIX MONTHS OR LONGER. MALAISE, DYSPNEA ON EXERTION, COUGH, AND ALTERED PULMONARY FUNCTION ARE COMMON MANIFESTATIONS WHICH CAN OCCUR INSIDIOUSLY. RADIOLOGIC AND HISTOLOGIC FINDINGS OF DIFFUSE INTERSTITIAL PNEUMONITIS OR FIBROSIS, OR BOTH, ARE ALSO COMMON MANIFESTATIONS OF THE CHRONIC PULMONARY REACTION. FEVER IS RARELY PROMINENT

THE SEVERITY OF CHRONIC PULMONARY REACTIONS AND THEIR DEGREE OF RESOLUTION APPEAR TO BE RELATED TO THE DURATION OF THERAPY AFTER THE FIRST CLINICAL SIGNS APPEAR. PULMONARY FUNCTION MAY BE IMPAIRED PERMANENTLY, EVEN AFTER CESSATION OF THERAPY. THE RISK IS GREATER WHEN CHRONIC PULMONARY REACTIONS ARE NOT RECOGNIZED EARLY.

In subacute pulmonary reactions, fever and eosinophilia occur less often than in the acute form. Upon cessation of therapy, recovery may require several months. If the symptoms are not recognized as being drug-related and nitrofurantoin therapy is not stopped, the symptoms may become more severe.

Acute pulmonary reactions are commonly manifested by fever, chills, cough, chest pain, dyspnea, pulmonary infiltration with consolidation or pleural effusion on x-ray, and eosinophilia. Acute reactions usually occur within the first week of treatment and are reversible with cessation of therapy. Resolution often is dramatic. (See WARNINGS.)

Changes in EKG (e.g., non-specific ST/T wave changes, bundle branch block) have been reported in association with pulmonary reactions.

Cyanosis has been reported rarely.

Hepatic: Hepatic reactions, including hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, chronic active hepatitis, and hepatic necrosis, occur rarely. (See WARNINGS.)

Allergic: Lupus-like syndrome associated with pulmonary reaction to nitrofurantoin has been reported. Also, angioedema; maculopapular, erythematous, or eczematous eruptions; anaphylaxis; arthralgia; myalgia; drug fever; chills; and vasculitis (sometimes associated with pulmonary reactions) have been reported. Hypersensitivity reactions represent the most frequent spontaneously-reported adverse events in worldwide postmarketing experience with nitrofurantoin formulations.

Dermatologic: Exfoliative dermatitis and erythema multiforme (including Stevens-Johnson syndrome) have been reported rarely.

Hematologic: Cyanosis secondary to methemoglobinemia has been reported rarely.

Miscellaneous: As with other antimicrobial agents, superinfections caused by resistant organisms, e.g., Pseudomonas species or Candida species, can occur.

In clinical trials of Macrobid, the most frequent laboratory adverse events (1-5%), without regard to drug relationship, were as follows: eosinophilia, increased AST (SGOT), increased ALT (SGPT), decreased hemoglobin, increased serum phosphorus. The following laboratory adverse events also have been reported with the use of nitrofurantoin: glucose-6- phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency anemia (see WARNINGS), agranulocytosis, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, megaloblastic anemia. In most cases, these hematologic abnormalities resolved following cessation of therapy. Aplastic anemia has been reported rarely.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin)

Related Resources for Macrobid

Read the Macrobid User Reviews »

© Macrobid Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Macrobid Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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