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Nitrofurantoin Side Effects

Common side effects of nitrofurantoin include headache, diarrhea, dizziness, and drowsiness. While most reactions to this antibiotic are mild, more serious problems can occur; however, these are generally rare. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop serious side effects with this drug, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or yellow skin.

An Introduction to Nitrofurantoin Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with nitrofurantoin (Furadantin®, Macrobid®, Macrodantin®). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with nitrofurantoin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Side Effects of Nitrofurantoin

Some nitrofurantoin side effects, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of lung problems (which are more common with long-term use of nitrofurantoin), such as:
    • Shortness of breath during exertion
    • A general ill feeling
    • Cough
    • Chills
    • Chest pain
    • Blue skin
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellow eyes
    • Yellow skin (jaundice)
    • Very dark urine (although nitrofurantoin can cause a harmless discoloration of urine)
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Unusual sensations in the hands or feet
  • Very severe, bloody, or watery diarrhea
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Difficulty breathing.
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Nitrofurantoin Antibiotic Information

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