Adverse effects of chronic nitrofurantoin therapy in women with recurrent urinary tract infections in an outpatient setting

Navin N. Maredia, Michael J. Fanning, Alana L. Christie, Bonnie C. Prokesch, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review the frequency of adverse events reported with nitrofurantoin (NF) in perimenopausal and menopausal women on prolonged daily prophylaxis in an outpatient setting. Methods: Electronic medical records of women aged 50–95 prescribed NF by 2 primary urology providers for at least 3 consecutive months from 2006 to 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographics, reason for the initiation, dose and duration of therapy, explanation of therapy interruptions, occurrence of adverse events, comorbid conditions, and relevant lab and imaging results were recorded. The number of months on prolonged therapy were summed. Results: Of the 221 patients included, 167 (77%) were prescribed 100 mg of NF daily with a mean duration of therapy of 1.5 years. The most common indication for therapy was recurrent urinary tract infection prophylaxis. Breakthrough urinary tract infections developed in 88 (40%) patients on prolonged NF therapy but only 10 were not restarted on NF. Four patients (1.8%) were determined to have pulmonary adverse events and 1 (0.4%) developed elevated liver function tests. Conclusion: In peri-menopausal and menopausal women, the risks and benefits of chronic NF therapy should be weighed by the clinician and patient prior to prescribing long term NF. Patients must be educated about the potential NF toxicities and clinically monitored for signs and symptoms of potential adverse events while on chronic NF therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2597-2603
Number of pages7
JournalWorld journal of urology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Perimenopausal and menopausal women
  • Recurrent UTI
  • Urinary tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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