If you’re looking at treatment or prevention options for urinary tract infections (UTIs), you may want to learn more about nitrofurantoin.

Nitrofurantoin is a generic prescription drug that’s used to treat and prevent UTIs caused by specific bacteria in adults and certain children. It’s also available as the brand-name drugs Macrobid, Macrodantin, and Furadantin.

Nitrofurantoin comes as capsules and a liquid suspension (a kind of liquid mixture), both of which you swallow.

Nitrofurantoin belongs to a group of drugs called antibiotics.

Keep reading for details on nitrofurantoin and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.

Note: For more details on nitrofurantoin, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for nitrofurantoin can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much you’ll pay for nitrofurantoin, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover nitrofurantoin. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss nitrofurantoin in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If nitrofurantoin requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether nitrofurantoin requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about nitrofurantoin and its cost.

What is the cost of nitrofurantoin without insurance vs. with insurance?

If you have insurance, how much you’ll pay for nitrofurantoin depends on your specific plan. To find out whether your insurance plan covers nitrofurantoin, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.

In general, you’ll pay more for prescription drugs if you don’t have insurance coverage. To learn more about the cost of nitrofurantoin without insurance, talk with your pharmacist. Also, see the resources listed in the “Can I get help paying for nitrofurantoin?” section below.

Does nitrofurantoin’s price depend on the capsule strength I’m prescribed (such as 100 mg vs. 50 mg)?

The price of nitrofurantoin may depend on the strength you’re prescribed. But this price may not be a significant difference.

To find out the cost of the strength of nitrofurantoin you’ve been prescribed, talk with your pharmacist. The cost may also depend on the number of capsules you receive.

Does the price of nitrofurantoin depend on the form I use (such as capsules or liquid suspension)?

Yes, the form of nitrofurantoin you’re prescribed may affect what you pay for the drug. The liquid suspension is usually more expensive than the capsules. If you can swallow nitrofurantoin capsules, your doctor will likely prescribe this form of the drug rather than the suspension. This can help save money on your prescription.

Nitrofurantoin is a generic drug. This means it contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics generally cost less than brand-name drugs.

Nitrofurantoin comes in the brand-name versions Macrobid, Macrodantin, and Furadantin. To find out how the costs of the various brand-name versions and nitrofurantoin compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed nitrofurantoin and you’re interested in using one of the brand-name versions instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.

Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

If you take nitrofurantoin long term for UTI prevention, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of nitrofurantoin if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of nitrofurantoin. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost of nitrofurantoin. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need help covering the cost of nitrofurantoin or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of nitrofurantoin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for nitrofurantoin.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • Is there a limit on the number of nitrofurantoin prescriptions I’m covered for?
  • Are there lower cost alternatives to nitrofurantoin that could treat my UTI?
  • Can I open the capsule and take only a portion of the contents to extend my supply?

To learn more about nitrofurantoin, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.