Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Macrobid?

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Macrobid (1)

According to the Urology Care Foundation, about 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. UTIs are so common that when people are prescribed medications to treat them, they don’t take time to consider how their alcohol consumption may affect their medication.

One of the most widely prescribed medications for UTIs is Macrobid, a potent antibiotic. While there aren’t any direct interactions between alcohol and Macrobid, you should always avoid drinking alcohol while taking any antibiotic as alcohol can lower your body’s ability to fight off infection and may reduce the effectiveness of your medication.

If you find that you can’t stop drinking, even in situations where you should because of a health issue or prescribed medication, you may be struggling with alcoholism. To get a confidential assessment or learn about your treatment options, please contact our team at Moving Mountains Recovery today.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

A UTI is an infection that can affect any part of your urinary system, including your bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys. Infections can take place in any of these areas and they can spread to multiple parts if left untreated.

UTIs are caused by bacteria in the urethra, bladder, and beyond. Bacteria can occur due to one’s gastrointestinal bacteria, poor hygiene, sexual intercourse, and other causes. One of the most widely prescribed medications for UTIs is Macrobid (nitrofurantoin).

What is Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin)?

Macrobid is a brand name for nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic medication that is used to treat acute cystitis (infection of the bladder). It comes in the form of a capsule that is swallowed by mouth, usually with food or a meal, twice daily. As an antibiotic, it works by stopping the growth of bacteria. However, Macrobid is not used to treat infections that occur outside the bladder.

People who are prescribed Macrobid are instructed to take the medication until the prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms resolve. Stopping antibiotics like Macrobid too early can allow bacteria to continue to grow and develop antibiotic resistance, which can result in the recurrence of the infection.

Common side effects of Macrobid include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Dark or brown urine
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Temporary hair loss

Macrobid is well established as one of the most effective treatments for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and is considered safe due to its potency and limited side effects.




Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin)?

Most doctors strongly advise against drinking alcohol while taking Macrobid. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of the medication and increase unwanted side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and stomach ache.

While there are no known interactions between alcohol and nitrofurantoin, alcohol may make your UTI worse by reducing how well the medication works and lowering your body’s ability to fight off the infection. Similarly, when it comes to UTIs, high levels of acidity in your body and urine can worsen UTI symptoms, and alcohol is known to increase urine acidity.

You can reduce the risk of adverse effects by waiting to drink alcohol until at least 48 hours after you complete your course of Macrobid treatment. If you must drink, be sure to drink in moderation, limiting your alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

If you have already drunk alcohol and are taking Macrobid, there is no need to panic. One drink is unlikely to affect your treatment progress to a noticeable degree, but you shouldn’t drink anymore until you finish your treatment regimen. You should contact your healthcare provider if you begin experiencing any adverse side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, or vomiting.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol While Taking Macrobid or Other Antibiotics

When overcoming an infection of any kind, it is vital that your body gets the proper rest and nutrition it needs. However, this isn’t possible when you’re drinking a lot of alcohol.

Alcohol lowers the immune system and interferes with the body’s natural healing process. At the same time, it can also disrupt sleep patterns, which further impacts the body’s ability to fight off infections.

Drinking alcohol can cause your body to fight off infections at a slower rate, resulting in your symptoms lasting longer and your medication not working as expected.

Lastly, alcohol is a well-known diuretic, which means it can dehydrate you, and dehydration is the last thing you want to be when you have a UTI. Being properly hydrated helps your body expel bacteria faster and supports a healthier immune system.

Does Alcoholism Increase the Risk of UTIs?

Many alcoholics are no strangers to UTIs. Not only are UTIs extremely common in the general population, but studies have documented that people who suffer from alcohol dependency are more likely to suffer from UTIs than people who are not physically dependent on alcohol.[4]

If you have a UTI and think you may suffer from alcoholism, be sure to be honest with your doctor. You should let them know how much you drink and how often. Many doctors do not recommend drinking while taking Macrobid because alcohol can increase certain side effects of the medication, such as dizziness and drowsiness.

Learn About Your Alcohol Rehab Options Today

If you or a loved one think you have a drinking problem, it may be time to speak to a professional. At Moving Mountains Recovery, our admissions counselors can evaluate your needs and help you find the right treatment program for you. To learn about our alcoholism treatment options or to get a confidential, risk-free assessment, please call now.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Urinary Tract Infection, Retrieved August 2023 from
  2. NIH DailyMed: Macrobid, Retrieved August 2023 from
  3. National Library of Medicine: Fact versus Fiction: a Review of the Evidence behind Alcohol and Antibiotic Interactions, Retrieved August 2023 from
  4. PubMed: Urinary tract infections and renal papillary necrosis in alcoholism, Retrieved August 2023 from
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