Is It Safe to Combine Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen?

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This article discusses Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen, their uses, contraindications, and more information. Typically, some drugs can cause unwanted complications or interactions when combined.

Many antibiotics treat a wide range of infections. Nitrofurantoin is a potent antibiotic used to treat various bacterial infections. Specifically, Nitrofurantoin treats urinary tract infections caused by different types of bacteria, including Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cystitis, and E. coli.

Ibuprofen is classed as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that works by reducing hormones that trigger inflammation and pain in the body.

What is Nitrofurantoin?

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic medication that fights bacteria in the body. It is most commonly used to fight and prevent urinary tract infections caused by bacteria like Klebsiella, Enterobacter cystitis, E. coli, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Nitrofurantoin’s unique mechanism of action makes it highly effective against bacteria in the urinary tract system. The medication is quickly filtered from the blood and sent to the urine, where its antimicrobial elements can fight and eliminate bacteria from the site of the infection.

Nitrofurantoin is a prescription antibiotic that must be used as a qualified healthcare provider instructs explicitly to avoid unwanted complications or side effects.

Nitrofurantoin is available under the Macrodantin, Nitro Macro, and Macrobid brand names.

Need an antibiotic prescription?

Get access to a licensed medical professional.

What to know about Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a painkiller considered a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces hormones that trigger inflammation and pain in the body. It is used to treat pain and reduce fever.

Ibuprofen also relieves inflammation caused by conditions like back pain, toothache, arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, or minor injuries. It is suitable for adults and children older than six months.

Even though Ibuprofen is a highly effective painkiller, it can cause some unwanted health conditions, some of which may be fatal.

Doctors advise patients not to use this medication just before or after heart bypass surgery to avoid unwanted cardiac issues. In addition, Ibuprofen can raise a patient’s risk of a fatal stroke or heart attack.

Ibuprofen can also cause intestinal or stomach bleeding. Stomach or intestinal bleeding can be fatal, so it is imperative to consult your doctor before using Ibuprofen. These complications can occur without warning while you’re using this medication, especially in older adults.

Discussing Side effects

Like most medications, Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen can cause some common and rare side effects. Since side effects are part of most medications, discussing them with your healthcare provider to avoid unwanted complications is essential.

Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen side effects

Nitrofurantoin can cause some common or rare side effects. The following are common side effects of Nitrofurantoin:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Numbness in your hands and feet
  • Pain in your hands and feet
  • Dizziness

The following are severe side effects of Nitrofurantoin:

  • Fever or chills
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Inflammation or pain in the joint
  • Muscle pain
  • Visual disturbances (blurred vision, vision loss, or severe pain behind the eyes)

Ibuprofen is used to relieve inflammation and pain in the body. However, the medication can cause mild, severe, and even fatal side effects. It is vital to use Ibuprofen as directed by a qualified physician.

The following are the side effects of Ibuprofen:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid weight gain or swelling
  • Skin rash
  • Stomach bleeding (bloody stool or coughing up blood)
  • Visual impairment
  • Nausea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • Renal impairment

If you’re showing signs of an allergic reaction to Ibuprofen, contact your doctor for emergency help. Symptoms include facial or throat swelling, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, and severe skin reactions.

If you show symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, contact your doctor for emergency help. Some symptoms include sudden weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, leg swelling, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen drug interactions

It’s safe to combine Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen because there is no known drug interaction between both medications.

Nitrofurantoin is a urinary anti-infective commonly used to treat lower urinary tract infections. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) typically used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

It’s generally safe to use Nitrofurantoin with painkillers like Ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Combining these medications doesn’t typically affect their effectiveness. Speak to your physician before using Ibuprofen with other medications, especially:

  • Cyclosporine;
  • Lithium;
  • Steroid medicine such as prednisone
  • A blood thinner such as Coumadin, Jantoven, warfarin
  • Heart or blood pressure medication
  • Methotrexate.

When to see a doctor

Knowing when to seek medical advice while taking Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen is essential. Here are some situations where you should consider contacting your doctor.

For Ibuprofen:

If you experience persistent pain, especially if it lasts more than a few days, consult your healthcare provider. Combating the underlying cause of the pain is essential.

While Ibuprofen is generally safe, it can occasionally cause side effects.

If you encounter severe symptoms, such as:

Stomach pain


Vomiting with blood or coffee-ground appearance

Blood in the stool

Black and tarry stools

Seek medical attention immediately.

If your fever persists for more than 3 to 4 days, it’s advisable to consult your doctor.

If your symptoms initially improve but then worsen, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Your doctor can evaluate any changes and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

If you’re taking Ibuprofen for an extended period (more than 6 months), your doctor may prescribe additional medication to protect your stomach from potential side effects.

For Nitrofurantoin:

Consult your qualified healthcare provider if you experience persistent symptoms, especially if they last more than a few days.

Although Nitrofurantoin is generally safe, it can occasionally cause side effects. If you encounter severe symptoms, such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting with blood or coffee-ground appearance
  • Blood in the stool
  • Black and tarry stools

Seek medical attention without delay.

If you’re taking Nitrofurantoin for an extended period (more than 6 months), your doctor may prescribe additional medication to protect your stomach from potential side effects.

If you’re using Nitrofurantoin for long-term prevention of urinary tract infections, your doctor may periodically perform blood tests to ascertain your liver and kidney function.

Read also: Nitrofurantoin vs Ciprofloxacin

Frequently Asked Questions

Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) has no known interaction with Ibuprofen or paracetamol. This means you can take Nitrofurantoin with Ibuprofen.

However, you should inform your doctor before using any medication, including Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) and Ibuprofen.

The recommended dosage for Ibuprofen depends on the specific formulation and your needs.

For adults, the usual dose of oral Ibuprofen is 200 to 400 mg every four hours as needed for pain or inflammation. The maximum dose for over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen is 1,200 mg daily.

Nitrofurantoin specifically targets bacteria that commonly cause UTIs. It interferes with bacterial enzymes in cell wall synthesis and other essential processes.

It has a bactericidal effect, eliminating the bacteria rather than just disrupting their growth.

Nitrofurantoin is excreted primarily through the kidneys into the urine.

This high concentration in the urinary tract allows it to combat the bacteria causing the urinary tract infection directly.

Nitrofurantoin is not typically used for other infections due to its limited tissue penetration. However, it’s highly effective for UTIs.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.