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Structural formula of furazolidone
Space-filling model of the furazolidone model
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E number{{#property:P628}}
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Molar mass225.16
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Furazolidone is a nitrofuran antibacterial. It is marketed by Roberts Laboratories under the brand name Furoxone and by GlaxoSmithKline as Dependal-M. Diafuron, medaron


Furazolidone has been used in human and veterinary medicine. It has a broad spectrum of activity being active against

Use in humans

In humans it has used to treat diarrhoea and enteritis caused by bacteria or protozoan infections. It has been used to treat traveler's diarrhoea, cholera and bacteremic salmonellosis. Use in treating Helicobacter pylori infections has also been proposed.[1]

Furazolidone is also used for giardiasis (due to Giardia lamblia), though it is not a first line treatment.[2]

As for all medicines the most recent local recommendations for its use should be always be followed. The usual dose is:

  • Adult: 100 mg 4 times daily. Usual duration: 2-5 days, up to 7 days in some patients or 10 days for giardiasis.
  • Child: 1.25 mg/kg 4 times daily, usually given for 2-5 days or up to 10 days for giardiasis.

Use in animals

As a veterinary medicine, furazolidone has been used with some success to treat salmonids for Myxobolus cerebralis infections.

It has also been used in aquaculture.[3]

Since furazolidone is a nitrofuran antibiotic, its use in food animals is currently prohibited by the FDA under the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act, 1994.[4]

Use in laboratory

It is used to differentiate micrococci and staphylococci.


It is believed to work by crosslinking of DNA.[5]

Side effects

Furazolidone is no longer available in the US. Though an effective antibiotic when all others fail, against extremely drug resistant infections, it has many side effects, and as with other nitrofurans generally, minimum inhibitory concentrations also produce systemic toxicity (tremors, convulsions, peripheral neuritis, gastrointestinal disturbances, depression of spermatogenesis.) Nitrofurans are recognized by FDA as mutagens/carcinogens, and can no longer be used since 1991.[6]

See also


  1. Machado RS, Silva MR, Viriato A (2008). "Furazolidone, tetracycline and omeprazole: a low-cost alternative for Helicobacter pylori eradication in children". Jornal de pediatria. 84 (2): 160–5. doi:10.2223/JPED.1772. PMID 18372934.
  2. Petri WA (February 2005). "Treatment of Giardiasis" ([dead link]). Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 8 (1): 13–17. doi:10.1007/s11938-005-0047-3. PMID 15625030.
  3. Meng J, Mangat SS, Grudzinski IP, Law FC (1998). "Evidence of 14C-furazolidone metabolite binding to the hepatic DNA of trout". Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 14 (4): 209–19. PMID 10694929.
  4. Bagley, Clell. "Drugs Prohibited from Extralabel Use in Animals". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  5. "DrugBank: Showing Furazolidone (DB00614)". Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  6. http://caraga.da.gov.ph/services/banmed-Nitrofurans.htm[dead link]

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