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.
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 isn’t flushed out of your system. Some symptoms of a UTI include:
Safe Beverages to Help Clear a UTI
Coffee isn’t 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:
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.
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.
It may be safe to take coffee with most antibiotics, but you shouldn’t 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.
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