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Nalidixic acid

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Administration is oral.


  • urinary tract infections

Cautions include:

  • renal impairment
  • pregnancy and breast feeding
  • G6PD deficiency
  • patients with AIDS - anaphylaxis has been reported
  • alkalinity of urine
  • inadequate fluid intake
  • avoid strong sunlight
  • false positive urinary glucose is tested for reducing substances

Contra-indications include:

  • history of convulsive disorders
  • porphyria

Side-effects include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness, headache and fatigue
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • rash and pruritus
  • joint pain
  • photosensitivity
  • diarrhoea
  • dyspepsia
  • abdominal pain
  • disturbances in liver enzymes and in serum bilirubin, urea or creatinine
  • eosinophilia
  • myalgia and muscle weakness
  • jaundice, visual disturbances

Note that with systemic and inhaled fluoroquinolones there is small increased risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection; advice for prescribing in high-risk patients (1)


  • MHRA - Drug Safety Update November 2018

The summary of product characteristics must be consulted before prescribing this drug.

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