Macrobid is a brand-name drug that’s often used to treat UTIs. This article tells you about UTIs and also what you can expect from treatment with Macrobid.

If your doctor prescribes Macrobid for your UTI, you’ll likely take this drug at home. Treatment typically lasts seven days.

Be sure to take Macrobid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Take the entire course of treatment, even if you start to feel better. Don’t stop your treatment early. If you do, your UTI could return and could get worse.

Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids during your treatment.

Macrobid is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s also available as the generic drug nitrofurantoin. Macrobid comes as a capsule you take by mouth. It belongs to a class of drugs called nitrofurans.

Macrobid is an antibiotic. It’s used in adults to treat several types of bacterial infections, including UTIs. It works by preventing bacterial cells from forming properly.

Common side effects

The more common side effects of Macrobid can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Serious side effects

In some cases, Macrobid can cause serious side effects. These can include:

  • Serious allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
    • hives or rash
    • trouble breathing or swallowing
    • swelling of your lips, tongue, or face
    • throat tightness
    • a rapid heart rate
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can include:
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • pain or tenderness in your abdomen
    • fever
    • dark urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • Other infections. Macrobid kills only certain types of bacteria, so other types may continue to grow and cause other infections. Your doctor can tell you more. Symptoms of infections can include:
    • fever
    • body aches
    • tiredness

Drug interactions

An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or keep the drug from working well. Before starting Macrobid, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. This can help your doctor prevent possible interactions.

Examples of drugs that can interact with Macrobid include probenecid, spironolactone, and the typhoid vaccine.

Other health conditions of concern

If you have certain health conditions, Macrobid may not be the best choice for you. Be sure to discuss your full health history with your doctor before they prescribe you Macrobid. Conditions that could cause problems with Macrobid can include kidney disease and liver disease.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Macrobid is a category B pregnancy drug. It may damage the red blood cells of newborn babies. If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor to see if this drug is safe for you. You should not take this drug if you’re more than 38 weeks pregnant.

Macrobid can pass to a child through breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about whether you should stop breastfeeding or if you should take a different drug for your UTI.

Read more: Drug information for Macrobid »

UTIs are typically caused by bacteria. The bacteria that cause a UTI can come from your skin or your rectum. These germs enter your body through your urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body). The bacterial infection can then occur anywhere in your urinary tract, including your kidneys, bladder, or urethra.

If the bacteria travel into your bladder, the infection is called bacterial cystitis. In some cases, the bacteria move from the bladder into the kidneys. This causes a much more serious condition called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis is inflammation of the kidneys and some of the surrounding tissue.

Women are more likely than men to get UTIs. This is because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s. This makes it easier for bacteria to reach a woman’s bladder or kidneys.

UTI symptoms

The more common symptoms of a UTI can include:

  • pain or burning during urination
  • frequent urination
  • feeling the urge to urinate even if your bladder is empty
  • cloudy or bloody urine
  • fever between 98.7°F and 101°F (37.05°C and 38.3°C)
  • pressure or cramping in your lower abdomen

Symptoms of pyelonephritis can include:

  • pain in your lower back or side
  • fever greater than 101⁰F (38.3⁰C)
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • delirium (sudden confusion)
  • chills

Call your doctor if you notice symptoms of a UTI. Be sure to call right away if you have symptoms of a kidney infection.

During your visit, your doctor will need to confirm that you have a UTI. This is because UTI symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other problems. Your doctor will likely order a urine test. If the test results show that you have a UTI, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic such as Macrobid.

There are several antibiotics available to treat UTIs, including Macrobid. Your doctor will choose the best one for you based on your health history, other drugs you’re taking, and other factors.

If your doctor prescribes you Macrobid, they can tell you more about this drug. Review this article with your doctor and ask any questions you have. Knowing more about your treatment options can help you feel more comfortable with your care.