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Structural formula of furazolidone
Space-filling model of the furazolidone model
Clinical data
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Routes of
ATC code
CAS Number
PubChem CID
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.594
Chemical and physical data
Formula C8H7N3O5
Molar mass 225.16
3D model (JSmol)
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Furazolidone is a nitrofuran antibacterial agent and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).[1] It is marketed by Roberts Laboratories under the brand name Furoxone and by GlaxoSmithKline as Dependal-M.

Medical uses[edit]

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

Use in humans[edit]

In humans it has been 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.[2]

Furazolidone is also used for giardiasis (due to Giardia lamblia), though it is not a first line treatment.[3]

Use in animals[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5]

Use in laboratory[edit]

It is used to differentiate micrococci and staphylococci.

Mechanism of action[edit]

It is believed to work by crosslinking of DNA.[6]

Side effects[edit]

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. including inhibition of monoamine oxidase[1], 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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b A.M. Timperio; H.A. Kuiper & L. Zolla (February 2003). "Identification of a furazolidone metabolite responsible for the inhibition of amino oxidases". Xenobiotica. 33 (2): 153–167. doi:10.1080/0049825021000038459. PMID 12623758. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Petri WA (February 2005). "Treatment of Giardiasis". Curr Treat Options Gastroenterol. 8 (1): 13–17. doi:10.1007/s11938-005-0047-3. PMID 15625030. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Bagley, Clell. "Drugs Prohibited from Extralabel Use in Animals". Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "DrugBank: Showing Furazolidone (DB00614)". Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  7. ^ http://caraga.da.gov.ph/services/banmed-Nitrofurans.htm Archived September 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.