Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin Monohydrate Macrocrystals) and/or alternatives
No Generic Alternative.
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General Information On Macrobid
Macrobid is an antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections of the bladder like acute cystitis. The generic name of the drug is nitrofurantoin or nitrofurantoin macrocrystal, and it functions by stopping bacterial growth and destroying the bacteria that are causing the infection. You need to remember that this drug can be used only for treating bacterial infections, and not viral or fungal infections. You can buy Macrobid in the form of oral capsules and or an oral liquid. This drug should not be given to infants less than 1 month of age.
Side Effects for Macrobid
Headache or nausea may occur as a side effect of Macrobid, but these symptoms subside over time as you get used to the medication. The drug may also make your urine brown or dark yellow in color, which is usually a harmless condition. However, brown urine can also be a sign of anemia or a liver problem. Therefore, you need to contact your doctor if you are producing brown urine and experiencing symptoms like tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, stomach or abdominal pain, persistent nausea or vomiting, and pounding heartbeat. Some serious but rare side effects of Macrobid include eye pain, mental or mood changes, vision changes, persistent headache, easy bruising or bleeding, or signs of a new infection like persistent sore throat or fever. You should also seek immediate medical help if you have unusual muscle weakness and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. Sometimes, Macrobid can also lead to a serious lung problem that can be identified by persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, breathing trouble, muscle or joint pain, and purple or blue tinted skin. You should also inform your doctor if you have persistent diarrhea, stomach pain or cramping, and blood or mucus in the stools, as these may be signs of a severe intestinal condition caused due to resistant bacteria. Long-term use of Macrobid can result in a new vaginal yeast infection or oral thrush, and therefore, you should watch out for symptoms like white patches inside the mouth or changes in the vaginal discharge.
You should inform your doctor if you have kidney disease, a genetic condition like G-6-PD deficiency, or history of liver disease due to Macrobid use in the past. You should consult him/her if you have a lung or liver disease, blood disorder like anemia, vitamin B deficiency, mineral imbalance, certain eye disorders like optic neuritis, diabetes, or weakness due to a long-term disease. If you are pregnant, you should take this medicine only if clearly indicated, especially if you are in the last trimester of your pregnancy or due to deliver anytime soon.
Your doctor will advise you to take one Macrobid 100mg capsule twice a day with food. If you are taking the liquid form of the medicine (which has a strength of Macrobid 25mg/5ml) and need to take Macrobid 100mg for your condition, you will have to take 20ml of the oral solution. If you are giving the drug to a child, you can mix it in water, fruit juice, or milk so that he or she can drink it easily.
Your doctor will not recommend you to buy Macrobid if you are taking quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin or any drugs for treating gout like probenecid or sulfinpyrazone. You should also inform your doctor if you are taking hormonal contraceptive methods like patches, pills or rings.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.