This leaflet is about the use of nitrofurantoin for urinary tract infections (which may be shortened to UTIs).
This leaflet has been written specifically for parents and carers about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
If your child has ever had a reaction to any medicine, check with your doctor that your child can have nitrofurantoin, before giving it.
Brand names: Furadantin®, Macrodantin®, Macrobid®
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria in the urine (wee). It is important for your child to take this medicine in the way that your doctor has told you to, so that it kills all the bacteria and gets rid of the infection. If the infection is not treated, there is a risk that it could spread to the kidneys, causing damage.
Nitrofurantoin can also be used to prevent UTIs (prophylaxis) in children with infections that keep coming back, or in children who are at a high risk of such infections. In this case, it prevents the bacteria from growing in your child’s urine.
For the treatment of a UTI
For the prevention of UTI
Your doctor will work out the amount of nitrofurantoin (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.
Capsules should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the capsule.
Liquid medicine: Shake the bottle well and measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount
Your child should start to get better after taking the medicine for 2 days. It is important that they take the whole course of medicine that has been prescribed. Do not stop early.
If you usually give it once a day in the evening
If you remember before bedtime, give the missed dose. You do not need to wake a sleeping child to give a missed dose. You can give the missed dose in the morning, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the evening dose is due.
If you usually give it twice a day
If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7 am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11 am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Just give the next dose as usual. There should be at least 6 hours between two doses.
If you usually give it four times a day
Do not give the missed dose. Just give the next dose as usual.
Never give a double dose of nitrofurantoin.
You are unlikely to do harm if you give an extra dose of nitrofurantoin by mistake. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in England and Scotland; 0845 4647 in Wales). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Side-effects you must do something about
If your child is short of breath or is wheezing, or their face, lips or tongue start to swell, or they develop a rash, they may be allergic to nitrofurantoin. Take your child to hospital or call an ambulance straight away.
Nitrofurantoin very rarely causes serious side-effects. They are not likely to happen, but you should contact your doctor straight away if your child has any of the following symptoms:
Other side-effects you need to know about
Contact your doctor if you are worried about any of these side-effects.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
Your child should not have nitrofurantoin if they have G6PD deficiency or porphyria.`
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about nitrofurantoin and about other medicines used to treat UTIs.
Version 1.3, September 2011 (October 2014). © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: September 2013.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.