This multicenter clinical trial compared single-dose fosfomycin tromethamine with a 7-day course of nitrofurantoin for the treatment of acute uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in female patients. Healthy females with symptoms of acute uncomplicated UTI were enrolled in a double-masked, randomized clinical trial. Assessable patients had >10(5) colony-forming units per milliliter of a uropathogen in a clean-voided midstream urine sample. Patients received a single 3-g dose of fosfomycin tromethamine plus 7 days of placebo capsules or a single 3-g dose of placebo plus 7 days of nitrofurantoin monohydrate/macrocrystal 100-mg capsules. Treatment efficacy was assessed by both bacteriologic and clinical response 5 to 11 days after the initial treatment dose (visit 2) and 5 to 11 days (visit 3) and 4 to 6 weeks (visit 4) after the last day of medication. Of the 749 patients initially enrolled in the study, 375 received fosfomycin and 374 received nitrofurantoin. There were no clinical differences in patient characteristics between the 2 groups at study entry. Overall, 94% of pretreatment isolates were susceptible to fosfomycin and 83% were susceptible to nitrofurantoin. Bacteriologic cure rates at the first follow-up visit (5 to 11 days after initiation of treatment) were 78% and 86% for fosfomycin and nitrofurantoin, respectively (P = 0.02). At visit 3 (1 week posttreatment), they were 87% and 81% for fosfomycin and nitrofurantoin, respectively (P = 0.17). Both treatment groups had an 80% overall clinical success rate (cure and improvement). Twenty patients (5.3%) who received fosfomycin and 21 patients (5.6%) who received nitrofurantoin reported an adverse effect related to study medication. The most common side effects related to fosfomycin treatment were diarrhea (2.4%), vaginitis (1.8%), and nausea (0.8%). Both bacteriologic and clinical cure rates observed with a single 3-g dose of fosfomycin were comparable to those achieved with a 7-day course of nitrofurantoin in female patients with acute uncomplicated UTI.