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Nitrofurantoin

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Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic for cystitis. It is sold as generic medication and under the brand name MacroBid. A course of nitrofurantoin tablets lasts for three days. You need to take one tablet in the morning and one in the evening. Nitrofurantoin works by killing the bacteria which cause bladder infections.

You can order your treatment online and we will either post your tablets or you can pick them up at a Superdrug pharmacy of your choice. To place your order, just fill in our brief questionnaire and select your preferred treatment. One of our online doctors will review your order and approve appropriate treatment.

You can also order a future supply of Nitrofurantoin so that you can start treatment as soon as you get an infection.

6 capsules (three day course) £25
6 capsules (for future use) £25

Price includes prescription and delivery.

In a hurry? Choose Click and Collect and pick up your order after just 3 hours from a Superdrug Pharmacy.

Delivery options

Delivery method Cost Estimated delivery

You will choose your delivery option at the checkout. Delivery options may vary depending on the pack size and dosage chosen.

About Nitrofurantoin
Nitrofurantoin Dosage

You need to take one nitrofurantoin 100mg dose in the morning and one in the evening. You should aim to take the tablets at the same time every day. The course will last for three days. The tablets need to be swallowed whole with a drink of water.

You may feel better before you have completed the course of antibiotics. However, it is important that you finish your course as advised, even if you feel better. If you stop taking your antibiotic early, the bacteria which cause cystitis can become resistant to the medication. If this happens, your infection will return and it can be very difficult to treat. Taking your tablets twice daily for three days will prevent this from happening.

Nitrofurantoin and Alcohol

Nitrofurantoin and alcohol do not interact. Moderate alcohol consumption will not reduce the effect of nitrofurantoin. However, it is not advisable to drink alcohol while suffering from a bladder infection. Herbal teas and water are more suitable and drinking plenty of nonalcoholic fluids will help you get rid of the infection.

How does it work?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic. It works by killing the bacteria which commonly cause cystitis. Unlike many other antibiotics, a sufficient amount of nitrofurantoin is passed with your urine, which is why it is highly effective in treating infections of the bladder.

What is the difference between MacroBid and nitrofurantoin?

MacroBid is a brand name for nitrofurantoin, which is the active substance the tablets contain. Nitrofurantoin is also available under other brand names.

Is nitrofurantoin available over the counter?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic and therefore not available over the counter. You need a prescription to buy and take it, as it is important that a doctor checks whether you suffer from a bacterial infection that nitrofurantoin is effective for. Your prescribing doctor will also check whether the antibiotic is suitable for you based on your medical history.

To obtain your prescription and medication online, use our convenient online doctor service. One of our online doctors will review your order and assess whether nitrofurantoin is the best treatment for you.
Nitrofurantoin can cause side effects. These can include the following:

  • diarrhoea
  • nausea and headache
  • stomach problems and being sick
  • loss of appetite
  • skin rash
  • rapid heart rate
  • skin rashes including blistering, flaking and a rash accompanied by a fever and rapid heart rate
  • facial pains
  • dizziness and drowsiness
  • changes to the numbers of your blood cells (which may show up in blood tests and cause unusual bruising, anaemia, throat infections and colds)
  • delayed clotting of the blood
  • inflammation of the pancreas and abdominal pain
  • short-term hair loss

It is also possible to have a severe allergic reaction to any medication. If you experience wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of your eyes, mouth or face, or itching, you should stop taking the medication and seek medical attention urgently.

In some cases, germs may be resistant to nitrofurantoin. In these cases, the treatment can remain unsuccessful.

For a full list of possible side effects and risks associated with taking nitrofurantoin tablets, please read the patient leaflet supplied with your medication.
Nitrofurantoin tablets can interact with some medicines.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications:


  • medicines used to treat gout
  • medicines for raised pressure in the eye (glaucoma), such as acetazolamide
  • antacids for indigestion
  • medicines which slow down the passage of food through your stomach (for example atropine and hyoscine)
  • medicines used to treat infections, such as quinolones
  • drugs which make your urine less acidic (such as potassium citrate)
  • the contraceptive pill (nitrofurantoin can lower the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill so you should use additional contraception such as a condom)
  • typhoid vaccine

Do not take nitrofurantoin if you:

  • are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • are suffering from a severe kidney problem
  • are in the final stages of pregnancy
  • are suffering from the blood disorder porphyria
  • are deficient in an enzyme called G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase)
  • are breastfeeding a baby who is deficient in G6PD

Tell your doctor if you:


  • are suffering from diabetes
  • have a history of allergic reactions
  • have anaemia (symptoms include pale skin, weakness and breathlessness)
  • have a lack of vitamin B or abnormal levels of salts in your blood
  • are suffering from an infection affecting your lungs, your liver or your nervous system

Please note that we will not prescribe Nitrofurantoin tablets for pregnant women. Please consult your doctor if you are pregnant and believe you have a urine infection. Speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding and require medication for cystitis.