Antibiotics Home > Macrobid Side Effects

Commonly reported side effects of Macrobid include flatulence, nausea, and headache. While most reactions to this antibiotic are mild, more serious problems can occur; however, these are generally rare. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you develop serious side effects, such as bloody diarrhea, blue skin, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.

An Introduction to Macrobid Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Macrobid® (nitrofurantoin monohydrate/macrocrystalline). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Macrobid. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of Macrobid

Macrobid has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, side effects occurring in the group of people taking the drug were documented. Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Macrobid capsules included:
  • Nausea -- in up to 8 percent of people
  • Headache -- up to 6 percent
  • Flatulence -- up to 1.5 percent.

Serious Side Effects

Some Macrobid side effects, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of lung problems (which are more common with long-term use of Macrobid), such as:
    • Shortness of breath during exertion
    • A general ill feeling
    • Cough
    • Chills
    • Chest pain
    • Blue skin
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellow eyes
    • Yellow skin (jaundice)
    • Very dark urine (although Macrobid can cause a harmless discoloration of urine)
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Unusual sensations in the hands or feet
  • Very severe, bloody, or watery diarrhea
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Difficulty breathing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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