Macrobid and Alcohol


Macrobid is the brand name of an antibiotic that fights against bacteria in your body. It’s also sometimes referred to as nitrofurantoin, which is its generic name. If you’re taking Macrobid, it is likely your doctor has determined that you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a bladder infection(Cystitis).

Macrobid Facts

Be aware that you should take Macrobid with food. This oral liquid can be mixed with a number of different things to make it easier to swallow, including fruit juice, milk or water. In patients who have an uncomplicated UTI, the normal course of medication is seven days for males and five days for females. Do not skip any doses, regardless of whether your condition has improved. Skipping doses may lead to a further infection, which could be resistant to antibiotics.

Macrobid and Alcohol

For some people, there is concern about taking Macrobid and alcohol. This makes sense when you consider that most medications do not mix well with alcohol. Does Macrobid have an especially difficult time with alcohol, however? Let’s find out!

One of the issues that can occur when you take Macrobid and alcohol together is, you can experience adverse effects from both alcohol and antibiotics and increased risk of suffering from an upset stomach and nausea. Alcohol may also make you feel generally unwell when you mix it with this antibiotic. One of the biggest issues that may happen when you drink alcohol is that your improvement could be delayed.

What Causes Unpleasant Side Effects?

Whenever you drink alcohol, it’s broken down in your body and turned into an acetaldehyde toxin. Acetaldehyde should be avoided when you’re sick because it can cause you to vomit, feel ill, have stomach pain, feel nauseated, and suffer from diarrhea. When you combine these issues with the most common side effects of Macrobid, you could be in for a world of hurt.

Another problem with alcohol is that it causes you to become dehydrated. This is due to alcohol acting as a diuretic, and it can exacerbate feelings of nausea. Additionally, dehydration leads to dizziness, lethargy, and headaches.

How Much Alcohol is Safe with Macrobid?

There is no set-in-stone answer to this question. In fact, it can vary greatly based on your personal medical history. You may be much more sensitive to alcohol’s effects if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, suffer from renal impairment, or have diabetes or liver problems. However, if you’re generally in good health, you can probably enjoy two or three alcoholic drinks per day. Of course, doing this may slow down your recovery, so it’s best not to drink until you’re off Macrobid.

Side Effects of Macrobid and Alcohol

Taking Macrobid alongside Alcohol causes several different problems, including:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Low mood
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach pain
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Painful urination
  • Increased risk of liver problems
  • Increased pain in the urinary tract and/or bladder
  • Increased risk of easy bruising

Does Macrobid Stop Working When You Drink Alcohol?

No evidence has come to light that suggests Macrobid will stop working due to alcohol consumption. However, you do run the risk of having a less effective immune system. This happens because drinking alcohol always negatively impacts your immune system for a minimum of 24 hours.

You should also consider the fact that drinking alcohol makes it harder for your body to sleep, remain hydrated and properly absorb nutrients. As you can see, none of these things are good for you, and that’s the reason you should temporarily give up alcohol after your doctor prescribes Macrobid.

How Can I Feel Better?

Anytime you suffer from a bladder infection or UTI, there are several things you can do to improve the healing process. Aside from abstaining from alcohol use, you can also try any or all of the following:

  • Visit your doctor right away
  • Continue taking your prescription as directed for the full course of treatment
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Stay properly hydrated
  • Avoid citrus fruits and spicy food
  • Eat little meals frequently
  • Drink lots of cranberry juice
  • Boost your vitamin C intake
  • Take your medication with food
  • If your condition doesn’t begin to improve in a few days, be sure to contact your doctor
  • Get lots of rest
  • Avoid doing any physical activity that makes you sweat
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with your pain

When to Avoid Macrobid

Macrobid is an antibiotic that has tremendous success at treating UTIs and bladder infections. This doesn’t mean that everyone can take it, though. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re allergic to Macrobid or if you have any of the following issues:

  • You’re in the last month of pregnancy
  • You’re urinating less than usual or not all
  • You have severe kidney disease
  • You have a history of liver problems or jaundice

You should also talk to your doctor if you have any history of issues with:

  • Anemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Diabetes
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • G6PD deficiency

Final Thoughts

Taking Macrobid and alcohol together isn’t a good idea, but it’s not as dangerous as taking an antidepressant or blood thinner with alcohol. Still, if you want to heal as quickly as possible, you’ll be better off leaving alcohol alone for about a week. After all, your UTI or bladder infection is most likely quite painful, and drinking alcohol will make it hurt more and take longer to heal. Always seek the guidance of a physician, healthcare professionals, or other qualified health care provider if you have any concerns regarding any health conditions.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center

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