What is metronidazole?
Metronidazole is a powerful antibiotic medication used primarily to treat infections from anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. This antibiotic will not cure infections caused by aerobic bacteria or yeast infections. This antibiotic is commonly used to treat bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, certain types of pneumonia, meningitis, Giardiasis, vaginitis, rosacea, diarrhea caused by clostridium difficile, and other infections of the skin or joints. Metronidazole is selectively absorbed by pathogenic bacteria or protozoa in the body and works by destroying the DNA of these pathogens.
How do I take metronidazole?
You can buy metronidazole in many forms with a prescription at your local pharmacy including capsules, tablets, lotion (Metrolotion), metronidazole cream (Metrocream), and metronidazole gel (Metrogel). Gels, creams and lotions are used topically to treat rosacea and vaginal infections. If using metronidazole to treat a skin infection, clean and dry the affected area, then apply a thin layer of the medication until it is distributed evenly. Wash your hands after applying the medication.
If taking metronidazole tablets or capsules to treat an infection, your doctor will most likely recommend treatment from 5 to 10 days and a dosing schedule of 3 to 4 times a day. Take this medication with a full glass of water at the same times every day. Follow instructions given to you by your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication until the all of the pills that were prescribed are taken, even if you feel better. The bacteria could return and you may have a relapse of the infection.
Before taking metronidazole, tell your doctor if:
You are allergic to metronidazole or any other drugs.
You are taking prescription or non-prescription medications, vitamins or supplements, especially blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), antihistamines, disulfiram (Antabuse), lithium or other drugs that change serotonin levels, phenobarbital, or phenytoin (Dilantin).
You have or have ever had blood, kidney, or liver disease or Crohn's disease.
You are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Do not drink alcohol while taking this drug. Alcohol may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, sweating, and flushing. Avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight. Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Metronidazole may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What are the possible side effects of taking metronidazole?
Side effects from using metronidazole include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light, dry mouth, vaginal dryness, mouth or tongue irritation, fatigue, dizziness, a metallic taste in the mouth, and trouble sleeping .
Rare side effects that require medical attention include: a change in vision, blindness, confusion, mood changes, lack of coordination, trouble with speech, shaking, convulsions, and a tingling, numbness or burning sensation in the hands or feet. These are not all the possible side effects from taking metronidazole.
What if I forget to take a dose of metronidazole?
If you forget to take a dose of metronidazole, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose. However, you may have to extend your treatment in order to take all the medication prescribed to you by your doctor. Treatment with antibiotics should be completed in their entirety to avoid relapse and antibiotic resistance.
How do I store metronidazole?
Store metronidazole tightly closed in the container it came in. Keep it at room temperature and away from excessive heat and moisture. Keep this medication out of reach of children and throw out any that has expired. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What happens if I overdose on metronidazole?
It is possible to fatally overdose on metronidazole in large quantities. Symptoms of overdose are similar to severe side effects and include: nausea, dizziness, coordination problems, vomiting or even seizures. If you or someone you know has overdosed on metronidazole, contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you overdosed on metronidazole, you should stop dosing temporarily. Contact your doctor before continuing treatment. If the victim of overdose is unconscious or not breathing, call 911 immediately.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages while taking metronidazole. It may cause an adverse reaction that includes nausea, vomiting, flushing, accelerated heart rate and shortness of breath. Metronidazole has also been reported to cause serotonin syndrome or serotonin poisoning. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are taking SSRIs or drugs that change serotonin levels before taking this medication.
Metronidazole is the generic and scientific name for this antibiotic. The most common brand name tablet is called Flagyl. Other brand names for metronidazole cream, gel, and lotion include Metrocream, Metrolotion, Metrogel and Metrogel-Vaginal. Search our site for coupons for generic or brand name metronidazole products and buy them at a low cost from your local pharmacy. Get up to 67% off the retail price of metronidazole products.