Urinary tract infections (in shot, UTI) are known afflict any part of your urinary tract. Infections in the lower portion of the tract are called cystitis or bladder-based infections. Those showing up on the upper part of this tract are termed as pyelonephritis or kidney-based infections. Meds such nitrofurantoin are available to treat such infections. But, do you know how long does nitrofurantoin take to work on a urinary tract infection? It pays to know more about this.

Cystitis is characterised by signs such as urges to urinate more often, painful spells of urination, need to go to toilet even when your bladder is empty, etc. On the other hand, pyelonephritis is accompanied by increase in body temperature, pain abdomen, etc. In case of very elderly people as well as younger patients the signs can often be quite misleading and they are vague.

Of the many bacterial strands, Escherichia coli is widely believed as a salient cause for UTIs. Triggers include being overweight, incidence of diabetes mellitus as well as presence of such infections among family members / blood relatives. If signs are revealing, diagnosis can be done based on typical symptoms. However, when symptoms are atypical, investigations such as urine tests are ordered. Upon confirmation of an uncomplicated incidence of a UTI, a few antibiotics are administered.

In this light, what is nitrofurantoin?

This is one of the commonly used antibacterial drugs, administered mostly to treat urinary tract infections. It is however not prescribed for kidney-based infections or those of the upper part of your urinary tract. It is usually taken through the oral route. Active ingredients of this med can slow down the growth of bacterial strands. In case of higher concentrated presence of microbes in your urine, this med can kill strands in such instances.

Nitrofurantoin is known to be effective against the infection-causing microbial strands like E coli, Citrobacter-genre of species, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, etc. You also need to know that strands of Proteus, Pseudomonas and Enterobacter have developed resistance to this antibiotic drug.

How long does nitrofurantoin take to work on a urinary tract infection?

It is essential to know how long this antibacterial med takes to work on UTIs. In general, nitrofurantoin starts acting within a matter of 2 – 3 hours. However, you are advised to take this med for ~ 6 days to tap its complete potential. A good thing is you can get this drug as a generic med; this means you save on dollars while buying its generic counterpart.

It is a vital thing to understand that its key chemicals get into your blood to reach the urinary system. Upon reaching the tract, it gains concentration to wage a battle on infection-causing microbes. It often takes about a week’s time for this drug to emerge victorious in its fight.


How to increase the efficacy of nitrofurantoin?

Typical dosages involve intake of this med for 6 days; dosing is 100 milligrams (mg), taken once every twelve hours. In order to maximise its efficacy, you are advised to take it at the same timeslot all through your medication plan.

A few meds such as antacids – especially those having magnesium in them – can limit the absorption of this drug. In such cases, your caregiver will space-out the doses. It is a safe thing to give an interval of 60 minutes in between doses of antacids and nitrofurantoin.

This antibacterial med can cause a few undesired effects like drop in appetite level, migraine, formation of gas, vomiting and / or nausea. It is important to drink sufficient amount of water and stay hydrated. Lastly, never hold back your urine for long. Above all, to know more about how long does nitrofurantoin take to work on a urinary tract infection, talk to your treating doctor.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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