Metronidazole is a medication that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria or parasites. It is not effective against viral infections. Metronidazole comes in the form of oral tablets, creams, gels and even lotion.
Uses of Metronidazole
Some of the diseases known to use metronidazole are skin infection such as rosacea, mouth infections such as infected gums and dental abscess. Bacterial vaginosis and even pelvic inflammatory disease are some of the diseases treated with metronidazole. Skin ulcers and insect bites can be treated with metronidazole. It can however be used to treat stomach or intestinal ulcers caused by H.Pylori.
Metronidazole is also prescribed to patients with sexually transmitted disease (STD) such trichomoniasis.
Here are a list of disease that uses metronidazole as a treatment:
- Balantidium coli
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Dientamoeba fragilis
- Helicobacter pylori Infection
- Intra Abdominal Infection
- Joint Infection
- Nongonococcal Urethritis
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Pseudomembranous Colitis
- Skin or Soft Tissue Infection
- Bacterial Infection
- Skin and Structure Infection
- Surgical Prophylaxis
- Liver Abscess
- STD Prophylaxis
- Wound Infection
Dosage of Metronidazole
Dosage of metronidazole will vary depending on the patient’s age, the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, any other medical history and other medication currently taking.
Depending on the type of infection, dosage of metronidazole may vary. Adults with bacterial infections probably need 500 mg of metronidazole 4 times per day for 7-10 days and might be longer in certain bacterial infections. While amoebic infection has a typical dosage of 500 mg – 750 mg 3 times per day for 5-10 days.
Adults with bacterial vaginosis have a typical dose of 750mg per day for 7 days. If a person has any condition that makes their kidneys or liver unable to function normally, your doctor might lower the dose as people with these conditions process the drugs more slowly and have a higher risk of experiencing side effects.
Metronidazole Side Effects
Common side effects include headache, loss of apetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, cramping, constipation and metallic taste. Metronidazole can cause change in the color of the urine, causing the urine to have darker color. Not to be alarmed as this is a harmless effect and will disappear once you stop taking the medication.
Metronidazole has a serious adverse effect that affects the nervous system which include encephalopathy, seizures and peripheral neuropathy. It is advisable for you to seek help immediately if you are experiencing symptoms of memory loss, trouble focusing, fever, pain and numbness in the hands or feet.
Metronidazole can also cause some allergic reactions such as hives, rash, dizziness and trouble breathing.
However, metronidazole does not cause drowsiness.
Before taking the medication, please notify your doctor or pharmacist about any other drugs you are currently taking. It is advisable to take metronidazole with disulfiram. Taking both medications can cause serious psychotic reactions such as hallucinations, delusions and confusion.
There are certain medications that when taken with metronidazole can lead to increased risk of side effects. These drugs include lithium, warfarin, busulfan, cimetidine and phenytoin. For example, phenytoin can decrease the effectiveness of metronidazole leading to prolonged infections.
It is always not advisable to take your medication with alcohol. Specifically taking metronidazole and alcohol because metronidazole can cause severe cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and flushing.
Metronidazole and Pregnancy
It is known that metronidazole is categorized as a category B pregnancy drug. That means the studies of the drug of pregnant animals does not show any harmful effects to the fetus. But the category also means that it has no sufficient studies that it is safe to use for pregnant women.
Metronidazole and Breastfeeding
You should ask your doctor also if you are still breastfeeding your child and wanting to take metronidazole. Metronidazole can pass through breast milk which can lead side effects to the breastfed child.