Compare Cipro vs. nitrofurantoin

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


Cipro (ciprofloxacin)

Prescription only

Macrobid (nitrofurantoin)

Prescription only
Treats bacterial infections.

Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is a good, cheap antibiotic that treats many types of bacterial infections, but it interacts with some food and drugs.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 755 reviewsforCipro
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.

  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is available in generic.
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) comes in different forms, including intravenous (IV) injection.
  • 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.
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) should be used with caution if you have kidney problems.
  • If you drink caffeine while on Cipro (ciprofloxacin), you may notice increased effects of the caffeine.
  • Some bacteria have developed resistance to Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) can interact with many other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist what medications, over-the-counter products, and supplements you are taking before starting Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Extended release pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
No pricing information available
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755 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
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Side effects
2possible side effects
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
See more detailed side effects
The Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Tendon rupture
    • People over age 60
    • Taking steroid medicine
    • Those with kidney, heart, or lung transplants
  • Myasthenia gravis
    • Myasthenia gravis
  • Diarrhea
  • Nerve damage
  • Central nervous system effects
    • Central nervous system disorders
    • Seizures
  • Heart rhythm problems
    • Use with other QT prolonging drugs
    • History of heart disease
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