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Can You Drink Coffee While Taking Nitrofurantoin? What to Know!

a bottle of Nitrofurantoin

Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic frequently used to treat urinary tract infections (UTI).1 You can still drink coffee while taking most antibiotics, although it might make any GI side effects worse and accelerate your heart rate more than your typical cup.2 However, the question of whether or not you should drink it while taking nitrofurantoin is a little more complicated than the medication itself. While drinking coffee while on these antibiotics may have no serious side effects, you shouldn’t drink coffee while you have a UTI because the caffeine can make your infection worse.

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What Causes a UTI?

UTIs are caused by bacteria that are typically transmitted through sexual activity, but there are other ways as well. Holding your pee for a long time or not drinking enough water can also contribute because the bacteria is not flushed out of your system. Some symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Cloudy or dark-colored urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Urinating small, frequent amounts
  • Burning sensation when you urinate
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Back pain
Woman with UTI
Image Credit: zentradyi3ell, Shutterstock

Safe Beverages to Help Clear a UTI

Coffee is not safe to consume when you have a UTI because caffeine is a diuretic, which dehydrates you. If you have a UTI, you want to stay hydrated and drink lots of water to flush the bacteria out faster.

Some safe beverages to drink include:

  • Water
  • Cranberry juice
  • Vitamin-enhanced water

Foods and Drinks to Avoid While on Nitrofurantoin

Additionally, you should avoid sugar and other inflammatory foods while you have a UTI. Citrus is also a big no because it’s highly acidic, which can worsen your symptoms. Antibiotics like nitrofurantoin are known to cause GI upset. Taking your medicine with a meal, preferably one that includes bread, should reduce your risk of harsh side effects.

You should also make sure to take probiotics in between doses and try to stick with a BRAT diet for best results. Avoid spicy foods while you have a UTI because they can irritate your bladder lining and contribute to indigestion.

person avoiding coffee
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

When Is Coffee Safe to Drink Again?

With the pain from the UTI fresh on your mind, anything with the potential to cause another infection may not seem very appealing at the moment. However, coffee should be generally safe to drink again after your symptoms resolve—provided you stay hydrated throughout the day with pure water.

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It may be safe to take coffee with most antibiotics, but you should not drink it while taking nitrofurantoin because it could interfere with your body’s attempt to clear the UTI. Once you’re no longer showing symptoms, you can enjoy your coffee again as long as you’re staying hydrated and urinating normally.

Featured Image Credit: luchschenF, Shutterstock



If there's a pencil and paper on her desk, Brooke Bundy has a cup of coffee (or tea) in her hand. Brooke worked in a coffee shop for three years while she finished her Bachelor's degree in Media Studies, and studied to be a writer. She met her future husband in the coffee shop where he lingered too long over deep conversations and dark roast coffee. Now they're happily married in New Orleans, LA, where they spend their free time exploring parks and cafes with their dog Tuggles.

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