Compare amoxicillin vs. nitrofurantoin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Amoxil (amoxicillin)

Prescription only

Macrobid (nitrofurantoin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Amoxil (amoxicillin) is a good and cheap antibiotic that comes in different forms to treat many types of bacterial infections.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 786 reviewsforamoxicillin
Treats and prevents urinary tract infections.

Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) treats uncomplicated urinary tract infections, but does not work well for older people or those with kidney problems.

Upsides
  • First choice medicine to treat many bacterial infections.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and liquid. The liquid comes in many different flavors to make it taste better for people who don't like pills.
  • Side effects are generally not too bad compared to other antibiotics.
  • Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) works well to treat most urinary tract infections.
  • Young and otherwise healthy females have the best results when taking Macrobid (nitrofurantoin).
  • It can be used in pregnant women if approved by the doctor.
  • Comes in a liquid form that can be used by children.
Downsides
  • While Amoxil (amoxicillin) can be used to treat different bacterial infections, many don't respond to it.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Except for the extended-release form, you have to take Amoxil (amoxicillin) 2 to 3 times a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • The extended-release form can be more expensive because it's a brand name.
  • Does not work well for complicated urinary tract infections, older people, or those with kidney problems.
  • Can damage your lungs, liver, kidneys, and nerves if taken for a long period of time.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Extended-release tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
786 reviews so far
62%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Amoxil (amoxicillin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Interaction with birth control
    • Using oral birth control pills
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Taking Amoxil (amoxicillin) for a long time
  • Severe allergic reaction
    • History of penicillin allergies
  • New infections while taking Amoxil (amoxicillin)
    • Weakened immune system
    • Not taking Amoxil (amoxicillin) correctly
  • Rash
    • Mononucleosis
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Lung damage
    • Using Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) for 6 months or longer
    • Age 65 or older
  • Liver damage
    • History of liver disease
    • Age 65 or older
  • Nerve damage
    • Lower kidney function
    • Low red blood cell count
    • Low vitamin B levels
    • People with diabetes
  • Breakdown of red blood cells
    • People with G6PD deficiency
  • Diarrhea
See more detailed risks and warnings