Macrobid is one of the only recommended first-line antibiotic used for treating cystitis in the UK.
You can order Macrobid quickly and simply from our online doctors. All you need to do is:
- Press start order and fill in a short medical questionnaire
- A doctor will review your answers to make sure it's right for you
- Our doctors will post it directly to your door, or you can collect it from your nearest post office
You can also message a doctor at any time through your patient account if you have any questions about Macrobid or your health.
A course of Macrobid capsules to treat a bladder infection will usually be three days, and you will need to take one capsule in the morning and evening.
So, if you're concerned about a bladder infection or worried you might have cystitis, Macrobid might be the perfect treatment for you.
Read on to learn more about Macrobid, how it works and how to take it.
6 capsule(s) - £22.00
Macrobid is a type of antibiotic that can help treat cystitis, a urinary tract infection (UTI).
You might need to take Macrobid on other occasions, to :
- treat kidney infections
- prevent infections in surgery
Macrobid kills the harmful bacteria found in your urinary tract. Macrobid is the brand name for nitrofurantoin prolonged-release capsules that are used to treat UTIs.
You should take Macrobid as prescribed by your doctor.
When taking Macrobid, make sure that you:
- swallow the capsule whole
- take the capsule with or after food
To treat cystitis, you take 1 Macrobid 100mg capsule twice a day, for 3 days.
When taking Macrobid twice a day, be sure to space the doses evenly (around 10 to 12 hours apart).
You should finish the whole course of antibiotics, even if you feel better.
How effective is Macrobid at clearing up cystitis?
Macrobid is very effective in clearing up cystitis and you will feel better within a few days after you take it. After you take Macrobid, your body will pass it through your urinary tract.
Many bacteria found in the urinary tract are sensitive to Macrobid. This means Macrobid is an ideal antibiotic to kill the bacteria which cause cystitis, and clear it up.
How long does Macrobid take to work on cystitis?
Macrobid should work on cystitis a few hours after you take your first capsule.
You should feel an improvement in the burning sensation when you pee. You may need to pee less often too. To make sure you kill all the bacteria causing the cystitis, it’s important to finish your course of antibiotics. Otherwise, your cystitis can come back or reoccur (‘recurrent cystitis’).
Is Macrobid suitable for recurrent cystitis?
Macrobid is suitable for recurrent cystitis. If you have the symptoms of cystitis more than 3 times in 12 months, or more than 2 times in 6 months, you may have recurrent cystitis.
If you think you have recurrent cystitis, speak to your doctor for advice. They can arrange tests to look into the reason why your cystitis keeps coming back, and also test your urine to check which antibiotic is best for you. You might be started on a low dose of antibiotics, like Macrobid, to take every day to stop your cystitis coming back.
Macrobid can be taken by most adults. If you have certain health conditions or are allergic to nitrofurantoin, you may not be able to take it.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant before you take Macrobid. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s likely you’ll be able to take Macrobid safely.
Who shouldn’t take Macrobid?
You should not take Macrobid if you:
- are allergic to nitrofurantoin or any of the ingredients in Macrobid
- have a kidney disease
- have the blood condition porphyria
- are in the final weeks of pregnancy
- have a genetic condition called G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency
- if you are breastfeeding a child with G6PD deficiency
You should speak to a doctor or pharmacist before taking Macrobid if you have:
- any condition affecting your kidneys
- anaemia or a vitamin B deficiency
- a condition that causes weakness or fatigue
- any lung, liver or nervous system problem
- brown or yellow coloured urine
Some medicines can interact with how Macrobid works, so speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking:
- indigestion remedies for heartburn, such as antacids
- gout treatment, such as probenecid
- glaucoma treatment, such as acetazolamide
- any medicines that cause your urine to become less acidic, such as potassium citrate or sodium citrate (a common cystitis remedy)
- certain antibiotics called quinolones, such as ciprofloxacin
You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have recently had a typhoid vaccine.
You can get a prescription for Macrobid to treat cystitis online from ZAVA. All you need to do is fill out a short questionnaire and our doctors will check that Macrobid is a suitable treatment for you. We will then post your treatment to your preferred address or your nearest post office.
Is Macrobid available over the counter?
Macrobid is not available over the counter from a pharmacy. You can only get Macrobid on prescription after speaking to a doctor or another prescriber about your cystitis symptoms. If you need Macrobid, fill out our online form and a doctor at ZAVA can check if they can prescribe it for you.
Common side effects
The most common side effect of Macrobid is dark yellow or brown urine (pee).
You may feel like you need to vomit after taking your first Macrobid capsule, however this should pass within a few hours. Make sure you take Macrobid with or after food to reduce any nausea and prevent you from feeling sick.
Uncommon and rare side effects
Rare side effects of Macrobid include:
- aplastic anaemia (producing fewer blood cells)
If you take Macrobid and have symptoms of an allergic reaction, call 999 immediately. These can include breathing difficulties or swelling in your face or throat.
Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after taking Macrobid:
- fatigue, abdominal pain, joint pain or swelling
- flu-like symptoms, fever, diarrhoea or blood in your poo
- blue or purple colour on your skin
- yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- cough or shortness of breath
There are alternative ways to treat cystitis, but if these do not help and your symptoms get worse, you may need antibiotics.
Make sure that you:
- remember to drink water throughout the day and keep hydrated
- pee as often as you need to, and do not hold it in
- take paracetamol if you can, to help with any pain
- use a hot water bottle or a heated blanket to relieve any discomfort
- avoid having sex until your cystitis completely clears
- avoid tight trousers, leggings or jeans
- wear underwear made from cotton or other natural fibres
When going to the toilet, you should:
- wash your genitals with water or perfume-free soap
- wipe yourself from the front to the back to prevent infections
If you are unable to take Macrobid, there are other treatment options available such as trimethoprim.
Macrobid 100mg prolonged-release capsules Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) [March 2019] [accessed October 2021]
Macrobid 100mg prolonged-release capsules Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) [March 2019] [accessed October 2021]
Nitrofurantoin: British National Formulary online (BNF) [accessed October 2021]
Recurrent urinary tract infections Patient Booklet - West Suffolk CCG (NHS)  [accessed October 2021]
Cystitis - NHS [August 2018] [accessed October 2021]