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Nalidixic acid

Generic Name: nalidixic acid (nal-i-DIX-ik AS-id)
Brand Name: NegGram

Nalidixic acid is used for:

Treating urinary tract infections caused by certain bacteria.

Nalidixic acid is an antibacterial. It works by killing sensitive bacteria in the urinary tract by stopping the production of essential proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.

Do NOT use nalidixic acid if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in nalidixic acid
  • you have the blood disease porphyria or a history of convulsions
  • you are undergoing cancer chemotherapy with the medicine melphalan or related medicines, or you are taking an antiarrhythmic for abnormal heartbeat (eg, quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: The Shocking Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

Before using nalidixic acid:

Some medical conditions may interact with nalidixic acid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have Alzheimer disease, a central nervous system disease, hardening of the arteries in your brain, increased pressure in your brain, liver problems, sensitivity to the sun, severe kidney problems, or a family history of heartbeat problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with nalidixic acid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), antiarrhythmics (eg, quinidine, procainamide, amiodarone, sotalol), certain medicines that affect heartbeat (eg, cisapride, erythromycin, amitriptyline), cyclosporine, melphalan, or theophylline because the risk of their side effects may be increased by nalidixic acid
  • Probenecid because the effectiveness of nalidixic acid may be decreased and the risk of its side effects may be increased by nalidixic acid

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if nalidixic acid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use nalidixic acid:

Use nalidixic acid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take nalidixic acid with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Do not take products containing magnesium (eg, quinapril, didanosine, vitamins), aluminum, calcium, sucralfate, iron, or zinc preparations within 2 to 3 hours of taking nalidixic acid. These products bind with the medicine preventing its absorption.
  • Drink a full glass of water with each dose. Drink several additional glasses of water daily unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Do not drink products with caffeine while taking nalidixic acid.
  • To clear up your infection completely, take nalidixic acid for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of nalidixic acid, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use nalidixic acid.

Important safety information:

  • Nalidixic acid can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use nalidixic acid with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Nalidixic acid may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to nalidixic acid. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Nalidixic acid only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
  • Be sure to use nalidixic acid for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of nalidixic acid may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Diabetes patients - Nalidixic acid may cause the results of some tests for urine glucose to be wrong. Ask your doctor before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use nalidixic acid. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Nalidixic acid should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old. Nalidixic acid is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 3 months old or younger than 9 years old with diarrhea or a gastrointestinal infection.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using nalidixic acid while you are pregnant. It is not known if nalidixic acid is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking nalidixic acid.

Possible side effects of nalidixic acid:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; feeling of a whirling motion; headache; nausea; rash; stomach pain or discomfort; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred or decreased vision; burning or tingling sensation; changes in color vision; convulsions; decrease in ability to sense pain, temperature, or body position; double vision; itching; numbness; pain; pain, redness, or swelling of a tendon; seeing halos around lights; weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include seizures; unusual sluggishness.

Proper storage of nalidixic acid:

Store nalidixic acid at room temperature, below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep nalidixic acid out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about nalidixic acid, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Nalidixic acid is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about nalidixic acid. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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