Nitrofurantoin neuropathy: a forgotten adverse effect

Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Aug;110(2 Pt 2):510-2. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000267134.21517.41.


Background: Nitrofurantoin is a widely prescribed antibiotic used to treat uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections. Unknown in the obstetric and gynecologic literature is the complication of peripheral neuropathy as an adverse effect.

Case: We describe a patient who developed a severe sensory neuropathy after taking nitrofurantoin intermittently and then continuously over a 7-year period. She recovered almost completely after its discontinuation.

Conclusion: Peripheral neuropathy is a rare and potentially reversible adverse effect, unreported in the obstetric and gynecologic literature, and commonly unrecognized by physicians who prescribe it.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nitrofurantoin / administration & dosage
  • Nitrofurantoin / adverse effects*
  • Nitrofurantoin / therapeutic use
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
  • Nitrofurantoin