Furazolidone (Oral)

Overview

Furazolidone is an artificial antimicrobial nitrofuran. It appears to be yellow, but its structure is stable and crystalline. Its inactive ingredients include FD & C Blue #2, calcium pyrophosphate, starch, magnesium stearate, and sucrose. Its liquid form contains sodium, carboxyl methylcellulose, flavors, magnesium aluminum silicate, glycerin, methylparaben, purified water, propylparaben, and sodium saccharin. Furazolidone is only sold with a qualified doctor's prescription. Over the counter, you may find Furazolidone in different forms available under the brand name Furoxone. Its dosage is mostly available in suspension or tablet forms. Furazolidone is taken by mouth, which allows it to work inside the alimentary canal to treat several intestinal diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and colitis, which are caused by bacteria as well as giardiasis.

Conditions Treated

  • Dysentery, Bacillary
  • Cholera
  • Giardiasis
  • Diarrhea
  • Salmonella infections in animals
  • Staphylococcal infections

Type Of Medicine

  • Antibiotic/Anti-infective and antiseptic

Side Effects

It is the nature of any given medicine to bring some undesired effects in addition to the intended ones. Some of them may not occur but if they do, you might need to visit your doctor. The most common side effects associated with Furazolidone include:

  • Abdominal or stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea/ vomiting

Furazolidone is also known to change the color of urine to yellow or brown. This side effect does not require medical attention.

Some of the uncommon side effects are:

  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rash or redness

Some of these side effects may disappear during treatment because the body usually adjusts to accommodate the medicine. For the ones that persist, your medical doctor will be able to direct you on how to prevent or otherwise reduce them on your body. If after that you still find some side effects to be troublesome, report to your doctor immediately.

There may be some other side effects not listed in the above text. However, if you notice any other unusual feeling and you suspect that it may be caused by this medication, please check with your health professional.

Dosage

The doses administered to various patients will differ from one patient to another. Therefore, one is required to strictly follow the doctor's prescription or the dosage indicated on the label. The difference in prescription is mostly because of the variance in the strength of the medicine. Additionally, the number of doses to take each day, the duration between doses and the amount of time you take the medicine all depend on the condition you have been diagnosed with, other medical conditions you may have, other medications you are taking, your weight, your height and your age or gender.

If your dose is unique, do not change it under any circumstance. The information we have provided below only includes the average doses that are supposed to be taken.

  • When you are using oral suspension

Use the provided, specifically calibrated measuring spoon or any other device that will measure the doses accurately. One is advised against using the average household teaspoon because it may not hold the recommended amount of medicine.

For oral dosage tablets or suspension for treating cholera or diarrhea that has been caused by bacteria:

I. Children who have reached the age of one month or above - The doses are based on the child's body weight. The weight must be determined by a doctor before the dose is given. The normal dose is 1.25 mg per kg or 0.56 mg per pound of the body weight. This is taken four times in a day for about a week.

Ii. Adults - 100 milligrams (mg) taken four times a day for about 5-7 days.

For treating giardiasis

I. For children who are one month of age and above - as earlier mentioned, the dose is given according to the weight of the body. The usual doses are 1.25 mg – 2 mg per kg or 0.56 mg – 0.90 mg per pound of the body weight. The medication should be taken four times a day for a week.

Ii. Adults should take 100 mg, four times a day for 7 – 10 days.

Furazolidone should not be given to infants who have not reached 1 month of age unless advised otherwise by a qualified doctor or pharmacist. The medicine might cause anemia in these patients.

For any patient, Furazolidone may be taken in combination with food so as to diminish the chance of getting an upset stomach.

Even if the patient starts feeling better while taking the prescribed dosage, they should continue taking Furazolidone for the whole duration of treatment. This will help to treat the infection completely because the symptoms may sometimes return if you stop taking the medicine too soon.

If you miss a dose of this medication, you are advised to take it as soon as possible. However, if the time you want to take the missed dosage is too close to your next dose, it is advisable to skip the missed dose. Return to your regular dosing schedule and make sure you do not double dose.

Furoxone tablets, 100 mg each, are sold in amber bottles that contain 20 and 100 tablets. The liquid medicine is supplied in amber bottles that contain 60 ml and 473 ml.

Interactions

Usually, certain medicines should not be taken together at all. However, in some conditions, the doctor may recommend two medicines to be used together even if an interaction may occur. In such cases, the doses of the medicines should be changed in a way that your body can handle them. If Furazolidone has been prescribed for you, make sure that your doctor is aware of any other medication that you take.

Here is a list of some medications whose use is not recommended in combination with Furazolidone: Amitriptyline, Amphetamine, Apraclonidine, Atomoxetine, Benzphetamine, Brimonidine, Bupropion, Carbamazepine, Carbidopa, Carbinoxamine, Citalopram, Clomipramine, Clovoxamine, Codeine, Cyclobenzaprine, Cyproheptadine, Desipramine, Desvenlafaxine, Deutetrabenzane, Dexmethylephenidate, Dextroamphetamine, Diethylpropion, Doxylamine, Entacapone, Escitalopram, Femoxetine, Flouxetine, Fluvoxamine, Guanadrel, Guanethidine, Hydroxytryptophan, Imipramine, Isocarboxazid, Levodopa, Levomethadyl, Levomilnacipran, Lisdexamfetamine, Maprotiline, Mazindol, Meperidine, Methamphenidate, Milnacipran, Mirtazapine, Nefazodone, Nefopam, Nortriptyline, Opicapone, Opipramol, Paroxetine, Phendimetrazine, Phentermine, Phenylalaline, Reserpine, Safinamide, Selegiline, Sertraline, Sibutramine, Sumatripan, Tapentadol, Tetrabenazine, Tramadol, Tranylcypromine, Trazodone,Trimipramine, Tryptophan, Venlafaxine, Vilazodon, Vortioxetine, and Zimeldine.

If Furazolidone is used with the medicines below, the doses should be changed. The medicines include: Alfentanil, Altretamine, Buprenorphine, Butorphanol, Cholera Vaccine, Difenoxin, Dihydrocodeine, Diphenoxylate, Dolasetron, Droperidol, Ephedrine, Ethchlorvynol, Fentanyl, Frovatriptan, Granisetron, Guarana, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Iobenguane, Kava, Levophanol, Liciricw, Lorcaserin, Ma Huang, Mate, Metraminol, Methadone, Methylene Blue, Midodrine, Morphine, Morphine Sulfate Liposome, Naratriptan, Norepinephrine, Oxycodone, Oxymetazoline, Oxymorphone, Palonosetron, Pentazocine, Phenylephrine, Phenylpropanolamine, Reboxetine, Remifentaln, St. John's Wort, Sufentanil, Tyrosine, Valbenazine, and Ziprasidone.

When Furazolidone is used with any of the following medicines, it may increase the risk of getting certain side effects. The doctor may be aware of this but will still prescribe the medicines so that they can achieve the best results. The medicines are: Acarbose, Chlorpropamide, Ginseng, Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide, Insulin, Insulin Aspart, Insulin Bovine, Insulin Degludec, Insulin Detemir, Insulin Glargine, Insulin Glulisine, Insulin Lispro, Metformin, Nateglinide, Repaglinide, Tolazamide, and Tolbutamide.

The interactions named above have been selected based on their potential significance but are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Due to the possibility of some interactions occurring, there are some medicines that should not be taken at or around the time of eating food or eating some specific types of food. The foods indicated below are selected according to their effects but are not limited to:

  • Avocado
  • Bitter orange
  • Tyramine containing food

Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may cause interactions to occur. Using Furazolidone with these and the above-mentioned substances is not recommended. The doctor should decide whether or not to treat you with Furazolidone if the use of these foods, alcohol or tobacco is unavoidable.

There may be instances of interactions with Furazolidone for specific patients who suffer certain health conditions. One should make sure that they inform their doctor especially if they are suffering from Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. This is a condition caused by the lack of G6PD enzyme. The patients who have this condition may develop anemia if they take Furazolidone.

Warning

When deciding to use Furazolidone medicine, there are a number of risks that must be weighed against the benefits of using it. This decision should be between you and your doctor based on the various precautions that should be observed when taking Furazolidone. Some of the most common precautions include:

  • Breastfeeding adequate studies have not been conducted to determine infant risks when using the medication while breastfeeding. Patients are advised to talk to their doctors so that they can look at the risks and potential benefits.
  • Pregnancy some animal studies have shown adverse effects on administering Furazolidone to animals. However, there are no adequate studies on pregnant women that report effects of the medication on the fetus or newborn infants. Furazolidone should be administered with extreme caution during the childbearing age.
  • Pediatric there is warning on the use of Furazolidone on infants who have not reached one month. It may cause anemia.
  • Allergies if you have ever had an allergic reaction as a result of taking Furazolidone or any other medicine, you should tell the doctor before he/she approves the prescription. You should also report any allergy to any food, dye, animal or preservative. During the period you are taking Furazolidone, you should read the label or package that shows what to consume or avoid.
  • Geriatric as most of the medicines we take have not been well tested on old people, one should consult with the doctor before taking Furazolidone. However, there is no cause for worry; there is no link on consumption of the drug that deteriorates the health of old people.
  • There has been evidence of tumorigenic activity, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, and impairment of fertility after chronic, high-dose oral administration of Furazolidone to rodents. There have also been strains in the promotion of the development of mammary neoplasia. The most noticeable effect is that the rodents suffered malignant lung tumors. However, it should be noted that the relevance of these findings in relation to short-term therapy in humans is not established.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibition there has been effective demonstrations on the inhibition of monoamine oxidase by Furazolidone by the enhancement of amphetamine. During the tests, there are enhancements of amphetamine sensitivities by two or three times during a 5-day period of taking the drug. However, when the recommended dose of 400 mg per day was taken, there was no reported case of the undue hazard of hypersensitivity crisis due to monoamine oxidation inhibition. When large doses are administered and there are sufficient indications of the possible hazards of hypersensitive crisis related to the accumulation of monoamine oxidase inhibition, the doctor should advise the patient on drugs and foods that he/she should stop consuming.
  • One may experience some health problems if they take Furazolidone while drinking alcoholic beverages or substances that are prepared using alcohol. Some of these substances include elixirs, cough syrups, tonics or injections that have alcohol. The problems that may result from this include some side effects such as fainting, experiencing pains in the chest, redness on the face and difficulty in breathing. Most of these side effects cease after 24 hours. Sometimes, if you have stopped taking Furazolidone for about 2-3 days, these symptoms may appear when you consume alcohol because the medication is still in your body.
  • Consumption of foods, drinks or other medicines that contain high levels of Tyramine together with Furazolidone may cause adverse reactions such as severe high blood pressure. Most of the foods that are aged or fermented have Tyramine. These foods include overripe fruit, cheeses, yeast or meat extract, fermented or smoked meat/poultry/ fish or sausage. Other foods that usually increase blood pressure such as yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, chocolate and soy sauce should be avoided. If you have a question about any other food you take which you suspect might react with Furazolidone, kindly confirm with your medical doctor. Do not consume any of these for at least two weeks after you stop taking the medicine.
  • The patient should not consume wine when taking the drug.
  • One should not take drinks that contain large amounts of caffeine, related foods or drinks, or any other beverage such as tea, cocoa or cola.
  • Do not take any other medicine that has not been prescribed by a doctor. Some of the medications you should avoid include diet pills and medicines for colds, fever, allergies or sinus problems.
  • Furazolidone has been reported to cause mild but reversible intravascular hemolysis in certain ethnic groups and people residing in the Mediterranean and North Eastern parts. The reaction is due to an intrinsic defect in their red blood cell metabolism, which makes these people unusually susceptible to hemolysis by numerous compounds.

Storage

The drug should be stored in a closed container and at room temperature. Additionally, Furazolidone should be kept away from heat, direct sunlight and moisture. The medicine should not be frozen.

Ensure that you store Furazolidone away from children.

One should not keep expired medicine or medicine that is no longer being used. Always read the sticker on how to dispose the drug or ask for expert assistance.

Summary

From the details above, it is clear that the use of Furazolidone has so many advantages. It is very effective in healing infections that have been caused by either bacteria or protozoa. The antibiotic is especially useful in taking out any bacteria around the alimentary canal when taken by mouth. However, even with its numerous benefits to our bodies, Furazolidone should be taken with extreme caution and only with a qualified doctor's prescription. It should not be given to children under the age of one month. Specific groups of people such as pregnant women and hemophiliacs should consult qualified doctors before starting to take this medicine. Furazolidone is known to have reactions with many other drugs so one should seek an expert's opinion to know the combination of medicines to avoid.