A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a common issue that causes millions of people to feel miserable every year. While it is considered a low-grade infection, seeking medical treatment at the first sign of a UTI can shorten the duration of the infection and ease the symptoms. Macrobid is one of the more common prescription drugs that are used to treat urinary tract infections. While it is an effective treatment, individuals who consume alcohol while on Macrobid may experience significant side effects.

Macrobid and Alcohol

Understanding UTIs

Your urinary tract comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. A UTI is an infection in any one of these parts of the body. Often, a UTI will spread to other areas of the urinary tract. UTIs are more common in women than in men. The Urology Care Foundation states that roughly 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI over their lifetime. Some people will experience multiple or chronic infections. One of the reasons why women are more susceptible to infections in this area of the body is because of the short distance between the female urethra and anus. This shortened distance makes it more likely for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. The shorter length of a female urethra also makes it more likely for that bacteria to travel to the bladder and other urinary tract areas.

What You Need to Know About Macrobid

Macrobid is prescribed exclusively for treating urinary tract infections and bladder infections. It is not used to treat kidney or bacterial infections in other body areas. It may also be known as nitrofurantoin, Aeration, Macrodantin, and Furdantin. Macrobid is an antibacterial medication that suppresses bacteria’s growth and reproduction. Specifically, it targets cell wall synthesis, DNA replication, RNA synthesis and protein synthesis.

Taking Macrobid as prescribed could result in several unpleasant side effects. The medication is known to cause dark urine, sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. While these are common side effects, you should consult with your physician if they become severe or worsen.

The Effects of Taking Macrobid with Alcohol

With some medications, mixing them with alcohol can have dire and even potentially fatal consequences. This may be because the interaction produces toxic elements in the bloodstream or the effects of one or both substances are amplified in the body. These will not be concerns when you take Macrobid and consume alcohol, so there is no need to seek immediate medical attention if you mix these two substances. However, there could be indirect consequences of consuming these substances simultaneously.


One potential issue is dehydration. When you have a urinary tract infection, it is crucial to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, alcohol is a diuretic, so it causes excessive urination and can lead to dehydration. The bacterial concentration can increase if you become dehydrated with a urinary tract infection. This can lead to more significant bacterial growth, and there is an increased risk that the infection could spread to the kidneys. In addition, dehydration generally weakens your total-body immune response and other body systems. Because of this, dehydration can lead to a general decline in health while your body is trying to fight off the UTI.

If you become dehydrated while on Macrobid, the medication’s side effects may worsen. Some symptoms that may be uncomfortable initially could become more severe and even dangerous if you are dehydrated. Some symptoms most affected by dehydration are headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Some people may have heard that consuming alcohol will make Macrobid ineffective. However, several studies have been conducted, and this claim has been debunked. On the other hand, it remains to be seen if the consumption of alcohol may impact the drug’s strength in the body. It has been suggested that alcohol’s impact on dehydration and the immune system may reduce a person’s natural ability to combat bacterial infection. It is also important to note that heavy alcohol consumption can negatively impact a person’s sleep patterns. A minor disruption in sleep patterns can significantly and negatively impact the body’s immune response. As a result of these impacts on the immune system, the infection may take longer to clear up even while it is being treated with Macrobid. Remember that your body needs ample rest, proper nutrition, and hydration to fight the infection effectively.

Be aware that there may be unique concerns related to consuming alcohol while taking Macrobid if you have an underlying health condition or other circumstances. For example, a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding may be advised by her physician to avoid mixing these two substances. In addition, individuals with diabetes, renal impairment, or other known liver problems should avoid the combination of Macrobid and alcohol. In some cases, individuals who have these concerns may be more likely to experience severe side effects or other serious issues. Your doctor should know your complete medical history to provide accurate advice and an appropriate treatment plan for your urinary tract infection.

What to Do If You Take Macrobid with Alcohol

Because of the possibility of exacerbating the infection and the medication’s side effects, it may be wise to avoid consuming alcohol while on Macrobid. If you have one or more drinks while on Macrobid, you should consume ample water. This could mitigate some of the effects of alcohol-related dehydration and ease some of the medication’s side effects. Some people may notice a worsening of their UTI symptoms or a worsening of Macrobid side effects after mixing their prescription medication with alcohol. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately or seek emergency medical assistance.

Is There a Safe Amount of Alcohol?

If you are healthy without any underlying health conditions or concerns, you may be able to drink a limited amount of alcohol with caution. Be aware, however, that you cannot know how your body will react beforehand. With this in mind, you should drink only a small amount of alcohol with extreme care. Those compelled to drink should consume no more than two or three alcoholic beverages every other day. However, you should generally aim to consume less alcohol than you usually do. If you normally drink a glass of alcohol daily, you should trim this to a glass every two or three days while you are on Macrobid.

The Typical Course of Treatment

For most people, treatment with Macrobid will clear up the infection. You should continue taking the full amount of Macrobid prescribed by the doctor even if you start to feel better. This will prevent a recurrence. Typically, patients are told to take their prescribed dosage of Macrobid twice a day. The minimum treatment period may last five days, but some doctors prescribe a 7-day course to ensure that the infection has been adequately treated.

Seek Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

While the length of Macrobid treatment is relatively short, some people find it difficult to abstain from alcohol or limit their alcohol consumption for this period. If you believe you may have a problem with alcohol abuse, rest assured that help is available. Long Island Interventions can help you to detox from alcohol and to establish and maintain a sober lifestyle. Contact Long Island Interventions today to learn about alcohol detox and rehabilitation.

Published on: 2022-10-31
Updated on: 2024-03-08