Metronidazole (By mouth)

Introduction

Metronidazole (met-roe-NYE-da-zole)

Treats infections. Belongs to a class of drugs called antibiotics.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Helidac Therapy, Flagyl, Flagyl 375, Flagyl ER

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to metronidazole.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Capsule, Long Acting Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often.
  • You may take the capsule, tablet, or oral liquid with food or milk to avoid stomach upset.
  • It is best to take the extended-release tablet on an empty stomach, one hour before you eat a meal or two hours after a meal.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Take your medicine as scheduled until it is all gone, even if your symptoms go away. If you stop taking metronidazole too soon, your infection may return.
  • If you do not get better in a few days or if your symptoms get worse, call your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is nearly time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • You should not use two doses at one time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Keep the medicine at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not drink alcohol or take medicine with alcohol in it, such as cold or cough medicines. Wait at least one day after stopping metronidazole before drinking alcohol.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin®, disulfiram (Antabuse®), phenobarbital (Donnatal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), or cimetidine (Tagamet®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor before taking metronidazole if you have liver or heart disease, a nerve disease (such as epilepsy), or a blood disorder.
  • If you are taking this medicine for a genital infection, make sure that your sexual partner also gets treated, even if he or she has no symptoms.
  • Because this medicine makes some people dizzy or lightheaded, be careful when driving a car or using machinery.
  • This medicine may turn your urine a reddish-brown color. This is normal.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Skin rash or hives
  • Unexplained sore throat or fever
  • Joint pain
  • Tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth, metallic taste
  • Pain during sex or when going to the bathroom (urinating)
  • Vaginal swelling, itching, or discharge
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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