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Macrodantin Warnings and Precautions

Macrodantin can cause severe diarrhea in some cases. Safety warnings and precautions with Macrodantin also relate to problems involving the liver or the lungs. People taking this medication long-term should have their kidney function tested on a regular basis. It should not be taken by people with severe kidney problems or women who are more than 38 weeks pregnant.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking Macrodantin® (nitrofurantoin macrocrystalline) if you have:
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • An electrolyte imbalance
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Macrodantin

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Macrodantin include the following:
  • Serious lung problems have occurred in people taking nitrofurantoin (the active ingredient in Macrodantin). Such problems are rare, but are more common in people taking nitrofurantoin for six months or longer.
People who take this medication long-term should have their lungs monitored carefully. Be sure to report any lung symptoms (such as shortness of breath or an unexplained cough) to your healthcare provider right away.
  • In rare cases, people taking Macrodantin have experienced liver damage, including fatal liver problems. If you take this drug long-term (or frequently), your healthcare provider may want to monitor your liver function.
  • Macrodantin can cause nerve problems, which can sometimes be quite serious. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience any unusual sensations (such as burning, numbness, or tingling), especially in the hands or feet. People with poor kidney function, anemia, diabetes, an electrolyte imbalance, or a vitamin B deficiency may be more likely to experience such nerve problems.
  • People who take this medication long-term should have their kidney function monitored regularly (using a simple blood test).
  • There have been cases of hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells) linked to nitrofurantoin, particularly in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
  • Macrodantin is considered a pregnancy Category B medicine. This means it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. However, Macrodantin is not recommended for women who are near the end of pregnancy (see Macrodantin and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Many antibiotics have been known to cause pseudomembranous colitis (severe diarrhea). This is a serious condition that may be fatal. If you experience severe, bloody, or prolonged diarrhea, contact your healthcare provider right away.
  • Macrodantin can interact with certain medications (see Macrodantin Drug Interactions).
  • Macrodantin passes through breast milk in trace amounts. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking this medication (see Macrodantin and Breastfeeding).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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