Nitrofurantoin-induced lung disease and prophylaxis of urinary tract infections

Prim Care Respir J. 2012 Sep;21(3):337-41. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2012.00059.


Nitrofurantoin is commonly used for the treatment and prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Although relatively rare, nitrofurantoin is one of the commonest causes of drug-induced pulmonary disease, which can be potentially serious and even fatal. Knowledge of such potential adverse effects is essential to enable early recognition and withdrawal of the drug. Patients on long-term nitrofurantoin should be reviewed and monitored regularly. Management involves early consideration of the condition, and prompt withdrawal of the drug. We report three cases of nitrofurantoin-induced lung disease in patients who were on long-term nitrofurantoin for UTI prophylaxis and present a brief review of the literature on this subject.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrofurantoin / adverse effects*
  • Nitrofurantoin / therapeutic use
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
  • Nitrofurantoin