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Nitrofurantoin (as macrocrystals and Monohydrate)

MacroBID capsules are an antibiotic medicine used in the treatment of cystitis. They are marketed in the UK by Amdipharm Mercury

If you are experiencing cystitis symptoms, speak to your GP. They will be able to advise you on treatment options.


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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

26 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 26 April 2022
Product information


An antibiotic containing the active substance nitrofurantoin, MacroBID capsules alleviate the symptoms of cystitis and other infections of the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys. It is currently one of the preferred options for UTIs along with Trimethoprim.

Cystitis is a common urinary tract infection (UTI) that will affect a large proportion of women at some point in their lives, though it can also affect some men. It occurs when bacteria from outside the body works its way into the bladder through the urethra, the duct which carries urine out of the body.

The symptoms of cystitis include cloudy, discoloured urine that has a strong odour, painful or stinging sensations while urinating, and sudden urges to pass water. They can be accompanied by lower abdominal pain, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell.

Some of the causes of bacteria getting into the bladder are sexual intercourse, the use of tampons or contraceptive diaphragms or the way you wipe your bottom after using the toilet. Not being able to empty your bladder properly due to stones or pregnancy, or changes that take place in the urethra during menopause are factors that can also increase the risk of you being affected by the condition.

Although the symptoms of cystitis can be painful and distressing, it is not normally an indicator of anything serious. Mild cases can see symptoms clear up within a few days without medication, but if the situation does not improve, you may be prescribed an antibiotic. MacroBID capsules are an effective cystitis antibiotic and you can buy or renew your prescription for this treatment online using our UK based pharmacy.

Nitrofurantoin is the main acting component of MacroBID and acts by being absorbed into the body and then passed through the kidneys, destroying the bacteria in the urine and thus the infection. They are prolonged release capsules, which mean the contents of the antibiotic are steadily released over several hours. If your symptoms do not improve after treatment you should see your doctor, as cystitis can lead to kidney infection in some instances.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022


The directions are included below are intended solely as a guide; you must read the patient information leaflet before taking this medicine, which has a more comprehensive list of instructions. Take this treatment as prescribed, following any special advice your clinician has given you.

  1. Use as directed.
  2. The usual dose is one capsule taken twice a day. A course for men will last for seven days, and a course for women will last for three days.
  3. Space the doses around twelve hours apart.
  4. Swallow the capsules whole with water, without breaking, crushing or chewing them.
  5. It is recommended that you take them with or just after food to assist absorption and minimise the chances of an upset stomach.
  6. If you forget a dose, take the next one as usual and continue the course as before.
  7. Do not take more than one dose at a time to compensate for any doses you have forgotten.
  8. Seek immediate medical assistance if you accidentally take more MacroBID capsules than you should.
  9. Complete the course as directed by your prescriber, even if part way through the course you feel better.
Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

MacroBID 100mg (For Men)

MacroBID 100mg (For Women)

Side effects & Warnings

Side Effects

Stop taking this medicine and seek immediate medical assistance if: you have an allergic reaction, causing symptoms such as breathing problems, facial swelling or itchy rashes; your lungs react severely to the medicine, leading to shortness of breath (dyspnea), chills, cough or fever; or you get an inflamed liver, causing symptoms of jaundice.

Your urine may turn a darker shade of yellow or brown while taking this treatment. This side effect is normal and not a cause for concern.

Frequency not known:

Being sick, nausea, stomach ache, loss of appetite, loose bowel movements, feeling dizzy or sleepy, blood disorders, skin rashes, headaches, mood swings, visual disturbances, and short term hair loss.

This list of side effects is not exhaustive. Please refer to your patient information leaflet for more detailed information.

Taking it with other medicines

It is important that you tell your doctor about any other prescription or nonprescription medication you are using in your online consultation, in case they can affect the way MacroBID works. Medicines that can do this include the following: oral contraceptives; typhoid vaccine; antacids for indigestion; medicine for glaucoma such as acetazolamide; products like sulfinpyrazone or probenecid used for gout; quinolone antibiotics; or any drug which decreases the levels of acid in your urine.

Conditions to look out for

Do not take these capsules if: you are allergic to nitrofurantoin or any of the other ingredients; you have the rare genetic blood condition porphyria; you are in the final stages of pregnancy; you are lactose intolerant; you have a disease affecting the way your kidneys function; or if you have the blood disorder G6PD deficiency, or are breast feeding a baby who has, or is suspected of having, G6PD deficiency.

You will need to take extra care when using this product if: you have diabetes; you are anaemic, have unusual levels of blood salt or are vitamin B deficient; you have a lung or liver disease or a disorder of the nervous system; you have brown or yellow urine; you have had a urine test with an incorrect positive result for glucose; or you have any illness that causes you to feel very weak.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

MacroBID 100mg (For Men)

MacroBID 100mg (For Women)


Can I still drink alcohol?

No. Drinking alcohol is not recommended while you have a urinary infection.

Will I still be able to drive?

The side effects of MacroBID can include drowsiness and feelings of dizziness. If these occur, do not drive until these effects have worn off. If they continue, you should consult your doctor.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It is not suitable for use during the later stages of pregnancy. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the use of this medication with their doctor or family planning nurse before taking it.

How should I store it?

Store at room temperature, away from the reach of children. Do not use it after the expiry date, and dispose of any unused medication responsibly by handing it in at a pharmacy.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

It contains: nitrofurantoin, talc, lactose, corn starch, povidone, carbopol, magnesium stearate, sugar, gelatin, titanium dioxide (E171), FD&C Blue No.2 (E132), quinoline yellow (E104), shellac, propylene glycol (E1520), ammonium hydroxide (E527), black iron oxide (E172), and simethicone.

This medicine is not suitable for those who may be allergic to any of the above ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will need a prescription to buy MacroBID in the UK. This can be issued by a practising doctor following consultation.

Is it right for me?

We do not provide this medication via our private clinic service. See your GP if you think you may have cystitis. They will be able to advise you on the most suitable treatment.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
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