What is Metronidazole?
Metronidazole is an antibiotic that fights bacteria. Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina, stomach or intestines, liver, skin, joints, brain, heart, and respiratory tract. Metrogel (topical metronidazole) is also used to treat rosacea, a skin condition. Vaginal metronidazole gel is also used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina. Metronidazole will not treat a vaginal yeast infection.
You should not use metronidazole if you are allergic to it, or if you have taken disulfiram (Antabuse) within the past 2 weeks.
Do not drink alcohol or consume foods or medicines that contain propylene glycol while you are taking metronidazole and for at least 1 day after you stop taking it. You may have unpleasant side effects such as fast heartbeats, warmth or redness under your skin, tingly feeling, nausea, and vomiting.
Seizures and other nervous system abnormalities have been reported in patients treated with metronidazole. You should stop metronidazole immediately for any neurological symptoms such as seizures, headaches, visual changes, weakness, numbness, or tingling.
This medicine will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
In animal studies (mice and rats), this medicine caused certain types of cancers or tumors. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using this medicine. Ask your doctor about your risk.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take metronidazole if you are allergic to it, or if you have taken disulfiram (Antabuse) within the past 2 weeks.
Using metronidazole during the first trimester of pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using this medicine.
To make sure metronidazole is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- nervous system disease;
- Cockayne syndrome (a rare genetic disorder);
- a stomach or intestinal disease such as Crohn’s disease;
- a blood cell disorder such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) or low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- a fungal infection anywhere in your body; or
- a nerve disorder.
In animal studies, metronidazole caused certain types of tumors, some of which were cancerous. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses. Ask your doctor about your risk.
Metronidazole can pass into breast milk. It is not known whether metronidazole can harm a nursing baby. Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding prior to taking metronidazole.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.