What is nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoinis a synthetically manufactured medicinefor treatinglower urinary tract infections. Its active ingredient isnitrofurantoin, a chemical compound used in the treatment ofuncomplicated urinary tract infectionsand acts against most Gram-positiveand Gram-negative bacteria.

The mechanism of action of this drug is theinhibition of various enzyme systems in bacteria, interfering with carbohydrate metabolism and preventing the formation of the cell wall of these bacteria.

The commercial presentation of this drug is incapsules of 100mg administeredorallywithout chewing orin oral suspension of 10 mg / mL. The recommended dose in adolescents and adults is50 mg to 100 mg, four times a day for uncomplicated urinary tract infections for a period between 5 – 7 days.

On the other hand, in the pediatric populationover 6 yearsof age, a dose of5 to 7 mg / kg of weightper 24 hours is recommended, dividing the total dose into 4 doses. (1)

Important: This medicine is delicate to use and therefore it is recommended that the administration, dosage and supervision be carried out by a specialist doctor.

What is nitrofurantoin used for?

Nitrofurantoin, as mentioned above, is indicated for the short-term treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections caused by bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Streptococcus agalactiae group B streptococcus. (2)

It is also used in cases of acute cystitis , a condition that causes inflammation of the bladder and a burning sensation when urinating. (3)

You should know: To avoid the appearance of adverse reactions or complications, nitrofurantoin should be avoided in the treatment of upper urinary tract infections, as well as in the treatment of bacteremia or secondary sepsis, complicated urinary tract infections, prolonged continuous treatments for more than 6 months or urinary tract infections in boys. (4)

Nitrofurantoin Side Effects

Taking this medicine can produce in certain patients some of the following Adverse effects: in certain patients:

  • Allergic reactions due to contact with some of the components of nitrofurantoin.
  • May cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea.
  • It can cause the appearance of fever and chills.
  • Possible alteration of lung function, appearance of pulmonary fibrosis or pneumonitis.
  • Skin diseases such as itching and hives.
  • Possible appearance of cytolytic hepatitis, cholestatic hepatitis or chronic hepatitis.

Important: If any of the symptoms on this list or any other symptoms not included appear during treatment with nitrofurantoin, discontinue use and notify your doctor.

Contraindications of nitrofurantoin

The use of nitrofurantoin is contraindicated in the following circumstances:

  • Hypersensitivity to any of the components of nitrofurantoin
  • In patients with hemolytic anemia.
  • In patients with renal insufficiency, chronic hepatitis or hepatic necrosis.
  • In elderly patients due to the risk of suffering a possible imbalance in renal function.
  • In patients with suspected neurological risks ( paresthesias , peripheral neuropathies).
  • In patients during the period of Breastfeeding , since it has been found that this drug is excreted through milk.
  • In children under 6 years of age.

To highlight: Before starting treatment with this medicine, it is recommended that you give your doctor a detailed review of your medical history.

Key Findings

  • Nitrofurantoin is a synthetic medication used to treat some urinary tract infections.
  • Its active principle is nitrofurantoin, an antibacterial medication whose mechanism of action is based on preventing the proliferation and reproduction of the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
  • This medication is indicated for the treatment of lower urinary tract infections as well as acute cystitis.
  • This medicine must be prescribed by a specialist doctor.

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