MHRA reminds prescribers about nitrofurantoin risks

Healthcare professionals have been reminded of the risks of using nitrofurantoin in patients with renal impairment, in a recent edition of the MHRA's Drug Safety Update.

Urinary tract infections, including those caused by E. coli (pictured), can be treated with nitrofurantoin provided the patient has no significant degree of renal impairment | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Urinary tract infections, including those caused by E. coli (pictured), can be treated with nitrofurantoin provided the patient has no significant degree of renal impairment | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Nitrofurantoin is licensed for the treatment of urinary tract infections in adults and children. However, clinicians are reminded that the broad spectrum antibacterial is contraindicated in patients with a creatinine clearance of 60ml/minute or less and in patients with elevated serum creatinine.

Check renal function before prescribing

The MHRA states that prescribers need to be aware of the patient’s current renal function when prescribing, particularly in the elderly who are more likely to have a degree of renal impairment.

Other risks

In addition, prescribers should be aware of the other risks associated with nitrofurantoin, including peripheral neuropathy and pulmonary and hepatic toxicity. Nitrofurantoin is contraindicated in patients with G6PD deficiency or acute porphyria.

View nitrofurantoin drug records

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