Drug name: Metronidazole Brands: Flagyl

Metronidazole is an antibiotic drug used to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and micro-organisms known as protozoa.

Metronidazole is usually used to treat infections in the pelvic cavity, abdomen and gums, and can also be prescribed following intestinal and gynaecological surgery in order to prevent the development of infection. Metronidazole is often used to get rid of a bacterial infection associated with stomach ulcers known as Helicobacter pylori.  

Dose: typically 400mg, 2-3 times a day, but this varies depending on the type and severity of the infection. How to take metronidazole

  • Space your doses evenly throughout the day, according to instruction from your doctor.
  • Keep taking the medication until you come to the end of the course, otherwise symptoms may return.
  • Take each dose with water, after food.

Cautions: Do not take metronidazole if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have had an allergic reaction to nitroimidazoles in the past
  • You are taking any other medications
  • You have problems related to the liver
  • You have a rare inherited blood disorder known as porphyria

You must not drink alcohol during your course of metronidazole, and for at least 2 days afterwards. Metronidazole is safe to be taken by people who are allergic to penicillin.

Possible side-effects: As with all medications, metronidazole comes with a warning about possible side effects, though many people don’t experience any at all. These can be found in the information leaflet supplied with your medication. Some occasional side effects of Metronidazole include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Itching
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coating on the tongue and problems with taste

If you feel unwell or think you are experiencing a side-effect after taking metronidazole, seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible.

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