Furadantin (nitrofurantoin), a synthetic chemical, is a stable, yellow, crystalline compound. Furadantin is an antibacterial agent for specific urinary tract infections. Orally administered Furadantin is readily absorbed and rapidly excreted in urine. Blood concentrations at therapeutic dosage are usually low. Unlike many drugs, the presence of food or agents delaying gastric emptying can increase the bioavailability of Furadantin, presumably by allowing better dissolution in gastric juices. Nitrofurantoin is active against some gram positive organisms such as S. aureus, S. epidermidis, S. saprophyticus, Enterococcus faecalis, S. agalactiae, group D streptococci, viridians streptococci and Corynebacterium. Its spectrum of activity against gram negative organisms includes E. coli, Enterobacter, Neisseria, Salmonella and Shigella. It may be used as an alternative to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for treating urinary tract infections though it may be less effective at eradicating vaginal bacteria. May also be used in females as prophylaxis against recurrent cystitis related to coitus. Nitrofurantoin is highly stable to the development of bacterial resistance, a property thought to be due to its multiplicity of mechanisms of action. Nitrofurantoin is activated by bacterial flavoproteins (nitrofuran reductase) to active reduced reactive intermediates that are thought to modulate and damage ribosomal proteins or other macromolecules, especially DNA, causing inhibition of DNA, RNA, protein, and cell wall synthesis. The overall effect is inhibition of bacterial growth or cell death. NCATS
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