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How long before the side effects wear off with using nitrofurantoin?

7 Answers

DzooBaby 6 Feb 2012

What kind of side effects are you having? Were you using this to treat a UTI?
Here is what the literature says about side effects:

In clinical trials of Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) , 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:

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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; and chills 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 (nitrofurantoin) , 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.

As far as how fast the side effects clear would depend on which ones you have. Most mild side effects should clear fairly quickly.

Votes: +0
choctawlady 8 Dec 2016

I took one oral capsule of nitrofurantoin for UTI and spent the next week in bed, I suffered from upset stomach, throwing up, chills , fever and when throwing up my skin felt as though it was being pulled from my bones, especially my spine. I lost all of my strength, couldn't turn over in bed alone, my muscles and joints are sore, I am dizzy and get very confused, loss of appetite, I lost 6 lbs in 6 days.My face turned blotchy. It has been 10 days now and I am still having difficulty walking because of my equilibrium. I tire out just walking from one room to another. Still have a headache and loss of appetite. Needless to say, I will not be taking this antibiotic ever again. I would like to know if others have suffered from this drug.

Shelley Rutckyj 4 Feb 2017

I had one capsule of Macrobid 100mg within 30 minutes a whole host of symptoms started,it shortness of breath, chest pain, joint pain, just an all around feeling of nausea, plus some minor discomfort in my feet, will never use this product Again!

choctawlady 4 Feb 2017

I took the one capsule of Nitrofurantoin on Nov. 30, 2016 and as of today 2-3-2017, I am still having some problems, back pain, sore and stiff joints, vision problems,and a host of other issues. I had a complete panel of lab work done today. Hopefully I will get some relief soon. Good luck to all who have had problems with this drug.

Susie7770 9 Mar 2017

I was prescribed Nitofurantoin yesterday. I took 3 capsules yesterday. Today I have diarrhoea, headache, nausea and can't stop shivering.
I have now stopped taking these. GP appointment tomorrow.

angus3214 22 Mar 2017

took microbid for five days and elevated my Blood pressure substantially, I have very low blood pressure for years.

TeniJ 22 Aug 2017

Last night I took one Macrobid for an unknown UTI. An hour later I started feeling like I had a nitrogen flush in my arms, then back of neck. Turned to burning pretty badly last night. This morning my left arm is on fire. Like icy hot times 100. Waiting on my doctor to call me back, I'm NOT taking anymore.

HateMacrobid 8 Feb 2018

I was prescribed 100 mg of Macrobid 2 times a day for 7 days. After taking 4-5 pills, I had shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping, high heart rate, diarrhea, fever, headache and chills. Blurred vision and tingling and numbing in legs which made it hard to walk and I had a feeling of fainting and falling a lot of times. After discontinuing the drug, I still have chest pain and nausea feeling, lost 2-3 pounds and get ocassional weakness and fainting feeling. Not to mention, my UTI didn't really get that better with the drug. I have had worse UTI before and other drugs worked fine. My entire life, I have not known any allergies or reactions to medication, except this one. I just want to get rid of the side effects, can someone tell me if they ever got rid of the side effects fully? I have spent so much money on doctors and went to ER to get checked up. I am surprised that this drug is not banned. I will never take it again, it is poison.

MargJ 14 Feb 2018

My reaction to this drug is identical to the above posting. I'm surprised this drug is on the market. The side effects are worse than any drug I've ever taken.

phelps5389 20 Feb 2018

I was given this pill for a UTI on a Friday. After one pill, within a half hour I was in bed with a migraine, lethargy, terrible back and hip pain. The next two days and two doses, I developed shortness of breath and chest pains as well as nausea. Not to mention still the excruciating headache that 1000mg of Tylenol wouldn't even budge. Just days ago I was weight lifting and exercising, now I am miserable and scared. Went back to doctor to be reevaluated and was given Keflex. Hopefully it will not cause any other side effects, but I am still having a hard time breathing and catching my breath. Just want to know how long the Macrobid will leave me feeling this way. I absolutely hate taking meds!

bearsrcool 21 Mar 2018

Took one pill with food and and 9 hours later I woke up with severe nausea and vomiting, disorientation, weakness, gastorintestinal upset, fever, chills, and headache. I passed out and barely missed hitting my head on the doorframe. I woke up on the floor. Did not take any more Macrobid after that experience. It took several days for me to feel normal again. Hoping I can find something to get rid of this UTI. This medicine is very dangerous!

DanaLynn8188 10 Apr 2018

I took Macrobid for 5 days this last December to treat a UTI. The last almost 4 months have been hell. I cannot believe this drug is still on the market. I have had a severe adverse reaction and symptoms still persist. Started with night sweats, constipation, and vision issues. 2 weeks after I stopped the drug I experienced extreme vertigo and digestive upset. So bad that I landed in the ER twice. Full labs done and I have nothing else wrong with me. This drug is poison. I have horrible vision issues/seeing floaters, digestive issues/burning and pain in my upper right stomach area, severe sensitivity to sunlight, feeling like my skin is burning, joint/bone pain, tingling and loss of feeling in arms and legs, severe anxiety/panic attacks, chills/always feeling cold, cold hands and feet, weight loss, etc. It's been almost 4 months and symptoms don't seem to be improving.

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I went from a 29-year old healthy active female to feeling like I've aged 50 years in the last 4 months. I can no longer exercise or drive and had to quit my job. If anyone can reach to me that has had similar experiences with this drug it would be greatly appreciated. Looking into a lawsuit. I'm sorry for all those who are suffering from this horrible drug. I hope to one day feel normal again.

DeniseTaylor 25 Apr 2018

Just started taking this for a UTI, felling dizziness, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea. What should I take for my UTI cause I can’t keep going through this

5wheaties 27 May 2018

After one day on Nitrofurantoin on 5/16/18 I started experiencing all-over joint pain, nausea, bloating and extreme fatigue. This progressed to neuromuscular symptoms of extreme weakness, burning and tingling. The burning is in my back, stomach, thighs and arms when I roll over in bed or get up from a sitting position. At its worst, I could not walk around for more than 10 minutes before being completely without energy in my muscles and breathless. The tops of my hands began to feel cold and numb-like. I stopped taking the medicine after 5 days. That was a week ago. After three visits to my doctors office, all my tests were normal. It is now 5/27 and I am almost recovered but still not 100% energy in my muscles. My hands and arms feel weak and slightly numb. This has been one of the weirdest and worst experiences in my life! I’m worried I won’t be normal again. What kind of specialists has anyone out there seek for these effects? Has anyone gotten better?

SLestan 26 Jul 2018

I have been on Nitrofurantoin for 4 days now for a UTI, and it has been a slow descent into hell. I thought my problems with anorexia had come back, and they did in the form of this drug. I have eaten close to nothing in a week and my hair is starting to fall out just slightly. I feel sick all the time and my feet up to my calves are ice cold, not even a heat blanket helps. Today after walking to my counselor's office I developed tiny red dots on the underside of my arms that went away as soon as I was in the air conditioning (it was warm out). Sometimes I will have the worst stomach pain after taking it, and I have felt wired and unable to sleep. Restless constantly. I feel like I have too much energy. I have also had intense bouts of dizziness and have been getting exhausted just going out to get my mail. I break out in a sweat and my cheeks turn red from getting hot, but I have no fever when checked with a thermometer.

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My sinuses also started freaking out, and I had intense sinus pain and pain behind my eyes where I was perfectly fine before. Although I do have an anxiety disorder, I'm terrified this medicine has screwed me up beyond repair. I fear for my liver as well due to the meds I already take daily. I don't see my doctor for a week yet, so I hope nothing else bad happens. I was prescribed this at a med center, so we will see what my doc says. I stopped this poison immediately today after calling my pharmacist. I really hope someone responds that they were okay after stopping after a full course. I'm really scared.

Twilakay60 9 Jul 2018

Does this medication breakup red blood cells?

Votes: +1
MmJune 18 Dec 2018

I took Macrobid and wound up in the hospital for severe nausea and vomiting. Doctor didn’t think it was the drug, so he told me to keep taking it. I had severe body aches, high fevers, chills, nausea, and shortness of breath. I am 36 hours out from the last dose and finally seem to be improving a bit.

Votes: +1
kennyjo80 21 Dec 2018

I took this medication in March 2018 and still have horrible hand pain in both hands.

I have issues with opening things that need to be twisted with some force, turning a door knob, putting on sheets on the bed, taking things out of the washer and putting into the dryer, etc. They feel as if they are badly sprained. I thought by now this would go away but it has not.

Does anyone else have painful hands after being off of this medication for multiple months?

My next step is to try acupuncture to see if that will help.

Votes: +0
DBM70 24 Dec 2018

I’m hoping to find out how long it will take Macrobid side effects to wear off as well. I also want to share my experiences so it will help others. In April 2017 I ended up in the hospital w/ Urosepsis. Some of the same symptoms I’ve had recently with this UTI and past are similar to my symptoms when I had Urosepsis. Because I almost died I don’t mess around a UTI! This current UTI started in mid November 2018. The first culture came back multi-antibiotic resistant. Besides Macrobid there were few options, mainly just IV antibiotics. I was prescribed a 5 day course 100mg two times a day. I finished the course and felt worse while on it and it didn’t resolve the UTI and I got very sick the following day & ended up back at ER. Where they told me that my urine showed no infection but went ahead and prescribed me a antibiotic Cefdnir. That worked for the 5 days, but again the next day the UTI was back.

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In the middle of the night I was sick w/ shakes, fever, chills & rapid heart rate, back to ER again being told my urine was clean. All labs and CAT scan were clear. They prescribed me a new antibiotic Cefpodoximine. 3 days on this I felt worse & did not sleep w/ racing heart & chest pain. Back to ER again where they said my urine was clean, but diagnosed me w/Trycardia
& all labs clean. They could not explain the Trycardia. Dr. Said stay on antibiotic & also added 100 mg of Macrobid & said to take both & when the Cefpodoximine was done continue Macrodid for a month. Meanwhile I was trying to hang on with my life to get into my infectious disease dr. I couldn’t get in till 12/18/18. I ended up in ER 3 times after the first course of Macrobid always assuming the shakes, chills, heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, muscle weakness and cold feet and sometimes hot and flushed all over were symptoms of the UTI not being resolved. I finally got in to my infectious disease DR. last Tuesday, who told me to get off the Macrobid because he wanted a clean urine sample & because I was leaving town for the holidays that I could go back on it after the urine sample was done. I would see him after the New Year. I stopped the Macrobid for 2 days & was so sick again assuming it was the unresolved UTI. I did my urine sample & immediately went back on it. Yesterday, I felt well all day except lower back pain & some random pain along my spine.
Before bed I went to the bathroom, my pee burned and I all of the sudden felt sick, my temp jumped to 99.9 and started w/ the shakes. Bad chest pain and tightness. My blood pressure jumped. I assumed it’s now a Kidney infection because of the back pain earlier in the day & I’ve been dealing w/ this for a month & again out of desperation went to ER. Where all labs, culture & Cat scan were clear. I knew chest pain was a side effect of Macrobid & was willing to deal w/ it to kill off the UTI. But after researching that the chest pain is actually a symptom of Pulmonary Toxcity and seeing some other people report similar symptoms w/ Macrobid I’m certain it’s been the Macrobid that has caused all the horrible symptoms I’ve dealt with. It seems the longer your on it the worse the side effects are and they linger even when your off it. I’ve delayed my Xmas vacation by a week hoping the side effects will be resolved.

Votes: +0
Mace 59 1 Aug 2019

I too took this medication prescribed two a Day first took two noticed nausea but went ahead and took another dose next day oh my I got nausea dizziness and sweaty it’s been 2 days now still notice nausea usually in the morning be so glad when this medication is out of my system so glad I stopped taking it oh by the way I did have food in my stomach

Votes: +0
CHASLU 5 Oct 2020

I was prescribed nitrofurantoin for a uti and took the first dose in the morning and went about my day. It was mid morning when I felt nauseated. I didn't attribute it to the medication so continued taking the prescribed dosage. That evening I went to bed early with a pounding headache and nausea. The next morning I felt a little better and took the morning dosage and within the hour the nausea and headache returned in addition to diarrhea, abdominal pain, no appetite I lost 5lbs in four days, bad breath, fatigue, and facial itching. I stopped taking the medication and called my pcp for another medication. I stopped taking the meds two days ago and still feel lingering side effects. I wish I would feel better soon.

Votes: +0
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