Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection

Macrobid Alternatives

(nitrofurantoin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Compare Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) or used for similar purposes.

Macrobid
(nitrofurantoin)

Bactrim
(sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)

Augmentin
(amoxicillin / clavulanate)

Cetraxal
(ciprofloxacin)

Treats urinary tract infections. Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) works best in young, otherwise healthy females. It shouldn't be used by children, the elderly, or people with kidney problems.Kills bacteria. Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. However, you can be more likely to sunburn.Treats bacterial infections. Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) is first-choice antibiotic for most common types of infections. However, it may not work against more serious or uncommon types of infections.Treats outer ear infections (swimmer's ear). Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is easy to use and treats most ear infections.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Macrobid (nitrofurantoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Bactrim
59%
-3% worse vs. Nitrofurantoin
49%
-5% worse vs. Nitrofurantoin
22%
Same vs. Nitrofurantoin
473 reviews
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Augmentin
68%
-12% worse vs. Nitrofurantoin
52%
-8% worse vs. Nitrofurantoin
13%
-9% worse vs. Nitrofurantoin
1034 reviews
Have you used Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Nausea 8%
  • Headache 6%
  • Gas 2%
More Nitrofurantoin side effects »

The Bactrim FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Bactrim side effects »
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Skin rash and hives 3%
More Augmentin side effects »

The Cetraxal FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cetraxal side effects »
How it works
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) is an antibiotic. It's used to treat urinary tract infections by killing bacteria in the urine.Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) is a combination antibiotic that contains sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It kills bacteria.Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) contains two antibiotic medicines, which kill bacteria.Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that kills bacteria. When the bacteria are killed, the infection should go away.
Type of medication
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Ear drops
Used for
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
Risk factors for serious side effects
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Pregnant women
  • Newborn babies
  • History of kidney disease
  • History of liver disease
  • Long antibiotic treatment period
Detailed Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly
  • Taking other medicines that lower kidney function
Detailed Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) risks & warnings »
  • History of penicillin allergies
  • Taking Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) for a long time
  • Mononucleosis
  • Using oral birth control pills
Detailed Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate) risks & warnings »
  • Prolonged use of Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)
Detailed Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Interacts with drugs like probenecid and sulfinpyrazone.
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
Food
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Take it with food (ideally breakfast and dinner) to prevent side effects and improve the drug's absorption.
No food related info.
  • Take with food if you're having upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) can cause significant kidney problems. Don't take it if you haven't been urinating often enough or have a history of kidney problems.
  • There have been reports of liver damage in people taking Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin). Your doctor will do some blood tests to make sure you don't have liver damage before taking this medication. Call your doctor immediately if you have pain in your abdomen, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, have dark urine, or light colored stool. All of these can be signs of changes to your liver.
  • Can't be used if you have kidney problems or don't urinate often (the medication could build up and cause toxicity).
  • Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) can harm your kidneys, especially if you're taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Motrin or Advil or other medicines that also affect your kidneys. Make sure to drink plenty of water or fluids while you're taking Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim).
  • Liver damage has been associated with patients taking Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate). It's usually reversible, but deaths have been reported. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Can cause ear pain, itching, or a headache.
Upsides and benefits
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) works well to treat urinary tract infections.
  • Young and otherwise healthy females have the best results when taking Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin).
  • It's not too common, but you can get a test done that'll show if Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) will work for you.
  • Widely available as a generic product and in a variety of formulations (tablet, capsule, suspension).
  • Works well to treat many types of bacterial infections
  • Available as generic product.
  • Available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
  • Used to treat most common types of bacterial infections.
  • Side effects are generally not too bad compared to other antibiotics.
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is an effective antibiotic that treats many common bacteria.
  • It's usually only given twice a day.
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is available as a generic, so you shouldn't need to pay the higher price of the brand version.
  • It comes in individual droppers, so it's convenient to take.
  • Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) is safe to use in children 1 year of age and older.
Downsides and risks
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Shouldn't be used for a long period of time.
  • Can't be used in children under 12 years old.
  • Interacts with drugs like probenecid and sulfinpyrazone.
  • Can't be used if you have kidney problems or don't urinate often (the medication could build up and cause toxicity).
  • Makes you sensitive to the sun.
  • Can upset your stomach
  • Drink plenty of water or fluids to avoid harming your kidneys
  • May cause birth defects
  • Many bacteria have developed resistance to this antibiotic.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Birth control pills may not work as well to prevent pregnancy when taking this medication.
  • Can cause ear pain, itching, or a headache.
  • Stop using Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) right away if a rash develops on or in your ear.
  • You need to take Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin) until you've used up all of the droppers. Otherwise the infection can come back and get worse.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NitrofurantoinBactrimAugmentinCetraxal
  • Take it with food (ideally breakfast and dinner) to prevent side effects and improve the drug's absorption.
  • Don't take it with antacids that contain magnesium.
  • It's common to feel better before you're supposed to stop taking Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin), but take it for the entire time your doctor prescribed it. Skipping doses or stopping early can lower the drug's effectiveness and increase the chance that the drug won't work as well next time.
  • Take Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) exactly the way your doctor tells you.
  • Can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun or wear protection while under the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water or liquids while on Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim) to avoid harming your kidneys.
  • Can cause upset stomach.
  • Can cause an allergic reaction. Talk to your doctor if you notice skin rash or swelling of your face.
  • Finish all of your medicine even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early can cause the infection to come back stronger than before.
  • Can make your oral birth control less effective. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need to use backup.
  • Take with food if you're having upset stomach.
  • Store the liquid in the fridge and throw away after 10 days.
  • Shake the suspension thoroughly before using each dose.
  • Each dropper is used for only one dose, so throw it away after you've used it once.
  • Wash your hands before and after you use Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin).
  • Warm the dropper by holding it in your hand for a minute before using it.
  • Lie on your side with the ear that hurts facing the ceiling. Squeeze all the liquid in the dropper into your ear and don't get up for at least a minute.
  • Talk to your doctor if you still have problems even after you've finished using all of the medicine.
  • Don't put the drug in your fridge and don't let it sit in the direct sunlight.
Learn more
More about NitrofurantoinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Macrobid (nitrofurantoin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BactrimSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole / trimethoprim)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AugmentinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CetraxalSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Cetraxal (ciprofloxacin)?
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