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What Is Furazolidone?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Furazolidone is a prescription medication designed to treat intestinal infections caused by bacteria and certain parasites. This drug is normally taken by mouth four times per day until it is gone unless otherwise directed by the prescribing physician. Some of the more common side effects of furazolidone include headaches, stomach upset, and urine discoloration. More serious side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include muscle pain, skin rash, and fever. A doctor or pharmacist should be consulted with any individualized questions or concerns about the use of furazolidone.

Available in the form of a tablet or liquid, furazolidone is typically used to treat diarrhea that results from a bacterial or parasitic infection. This medication may also be prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with colitis, or an inflammation of the intestines. Specific dosing instructions are based on the age and overall health of the patient, and it is important to take all of the prescribed medication, even if symptoms begin to improve.

Most people who take furazolidone do not experience any significant side effects, as this medication is thought to be generally well tolerated by the majority of the population. Stomach upset is one of the most commonly reported side effects and may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms may be alleviated by eating or drinking milk each time furazolidone is taken. Mild headaches may occur, although sudden or excruciatingly painful headaches may indicate the presence of severe complications and should be evaluated by a medical professional. Urine discoloration often occurs while this medication is being used and should not be a cause for alarm.

Severe muscle pain, fever, or the appearance of a skin rash should be reported to a doctor to make sure there are no serious health concerns. Bloody stools or vomit that resembles coffee grounds should prompt a visit to the nearest emergency department, especially if accompanied by severe abdominal pain. Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal type of allergic reaction that may occur when taking furazolidone, even if the medication has been well tolerated in the past. Skin rash, hives, and facial swelling are often the first symptoms of anaphylaxis and may be closely followed by swelling of the throat and tongue or difficulty breathing. Lack of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs of the body may lead to permanent brain damage or death within a matter of minutes without immediate emergency attention.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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