|Type of medicine||Antibiotic|
To treat Helicobacter pylori (a bacterium which causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach)
Metronidazole is used for infections caused by anaerobic bacteria or micro-organisms called protozoa. It works by killing the bacteria or protozoa.
Anaerobic bacteria cause infections in areas of the body such as the gums, pelvic cavity, gut and bones because they do not need oxygen to grow and multiply. Metronidazole can also be used to prevent infection following gynaecological surgery and surgery on the intestines.
Metronidazole is also available as a skin preparation. More information on this is available in a separate leaflet called Metronidazole skin gel and cream.
Before taking metronidazole
Before taking metronidazole make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have liver problems or are on kidney dialysis.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have a dependency on alcohol.
- If you suffer from the rare blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take metronidazole
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take metronidazole exactly as directed by your doctor or dentist.
- You must take metronidazole at regular intervals and complete the course you have been given, even if you feel well.
- Take the tablets with a glass of water, with or just after food. Swallow the tablets whole - do not crush or chew them.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
How to use metronidazole suppositories:
- Remove the suppository from the wrapping.
- You may find that inserting the suppository is easier if you squat or bend forward.
- Using your finger gently push the suppository into your rectum (back passage) as far as possible, pointed end first.
- Remain still for a little while to help you to hold the suppository in place.
- Wash you hands after use.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Important: Do not drink alcohol while you are being treated with metronidazole and for 48 hours after finishing your course of treatment. This is because drinking alcohol with metronidazole may make you feel very sick and cause other unpleasant effects.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with metronidazole. Some cough and cold preparations contain alcohol and should not be taken with metronidazole.
- If you are taking metronidazole for longer than 10 days, you may need to have some tests. Make sure you keep any doctor's appointments that you have been given.
Can metronidazole cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods. Make sure you take your doses after a meal or a snack|
|Changes in the way things taste, furred tongue, sore mouth||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable oral hygiene product such as a mouthwash|
|Lack of appetite||This should soon pass, but in the meantime choose food that you usually enjoy|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store metronidazole
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® 200mg and 400mg Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® 200mg and 400mg Tablets, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2009.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® S Suspension; Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® S Suspension, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® Suppositories 500 mg and 1.0 g; Manufacturer's PIL, Flagyl® Suppositories 500 mg and 1.0 g, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2008.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 26/01/2011||Document ID: 1080 Version: 23||© EMIS|
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