Inhibition of nitrofurantoin reduction by menthol leads to enhanced antimicrobial activity

J Chemother. 2003 Oct;15(5):449-53. doi: 10.1179/joc.2003.15.5.449.


Nitrofurantoin is a nitroaromatic compound used for the treatment of urinary tract infections. Nitrofurantoin activity is regulated by a nitroreduction process. It is first reduced by bacterial nitroreductases to active short-life intermediates, which are further converted to non-toxic molecules, which negatively affect its antibacterial activity. In this study we have shown that resistant strains of Klebsiella sp. inactivate the bactericidal activity of nitrofurantoin. Also we demonstrated a synergistic effect between menthol and nitrofurantoin bactericidal activities against nitrofurantoin susceptible Enterobacteriaceae.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / metabolism*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / pharmacology*
  • Antipruritics / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Klebsiella / drug effects*
  • Klebsiella / pathogenicity*
  • Menthol / pharmacology*
  • Nitrofurantoin / metabolism*
  • Nitrofurantoin / pharmacology*
  • Nitroreductases / pharmacology


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
  • Antipruritics
  • Menthol
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Nitroreductases