Macrodantin and Pregnancy

It is generally considered safe for pregnant women to take Macrodantin (nitrofurantoin macrocrystalline). As a matter of fact, this medication is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for urinary tract infections during pregnancy. However, it should not be taken past week 38 of pregnancy -- taking it after this point could lead to destruction of red blood cells in the newborn.

Is Macrodantin Safe While Pregnant?

Macrodantin® (nitrofurantoin macrocrystalline) is a prescription antibiotic used to treat and prevent bladder infections. Although the full risks are not currently known, Macrodantin is usually considered safe for use during pregnancy.

What Is Pregnancy Category B?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
In most animal studies, large doses of nitrofurantoin (the active ingredient in Macrodantin) did not cause any problems during pregnancy. One animal study suggested that extremely high doses might be linked to poor growth and minor birth defects, but such problems were not seen with lower doses, which were still higher than those used in humans.
Another study suggested that high doses of nitrofurantoin may cause lung tumors. It is unclear what exactly the results of these animal studies mean for human use of the drug.
It should be noted that problems seen in animal studies (which often involve very high doses of the medication for long periods) do not necessarily reflect what happens with humans. Pregnant women can be assured that nitrofurantoin products such as Macrodantin are some of the most commonly used antibiotics for urinary tract infections in this situation.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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