Metronidazole is an antiprotozoal and antimicrobial medication. Its active components interact with the DNA of the cell of microorganisms, inhibiting the synthesis of their nucleic acids, which leads to the death of bacteria.
Metronidazole is an antibiotic which is effective against anaerobic bacteria and some parasites. It is mostly prescribed in the cases of amoebiasis, trichomoniasis, giardiasis, intra-abdominal infections (peritonitis, abscesses), anaerobic infections of the bones and joints, skin and soft tissues, female genital organs (endometritis, tubo-ovarian abscess), central nervous system (meningitis, brain abscess), lower respiratory tract (pneumonia, empyema, lung abscess), endocarditis, pseudomembranous colitis, Helicobacter pylori eradication, chronic alcoholism, prevention of postoperative anaerobic infections. For the external and local usage: pink and acne vulgaris, bacterial vaginosis, nonhealing wounds, trophic ulcers.
In combination with the drug Amoxicillin, this antibiotic is active against Helicobacter pylori, because Amoxicillin inhibits the development of the resistance to Metronidazole.
In the presence of mixed flora (aerobes and anaerobes), Metronidazole acts synergistically with antibiotic medications, which are effective against conventional aerobes. The drug is able to increase the sensitivity of tumors to radiation.
Metronidazole is almost completely absorbed when taken orally. Food intakes do not affect the absorption of this medication. Metronidazole quickly penetrates into the tissues (lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, bile, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, seminal fluid, vaginal secretions), breast milk and passes through the placental barrier.
Before taking this medicine you must consult with your doctor. The method of application and the dosage regimen of a particular drug depend on its form of release and some other factors. The optimal dosage is determined only by the healthcare provider. It is necessary to strictly observe the instructions of the drug’s usage according to particular indications.
The dosage of the medication is set individually for each patient and depends on the indications, the clinical situation, and the patient's age. Typically, a single dosage for adult patients is 250-750 mg per day; for children aged 6 – 15 years the single dosage is 250 mg.
Taking the drug Metronidazole is contraindicated in some cases. The contraindications include the following conditions: hypersensitivity (including nitroimidazole derivatives), pregnancy, breastfeeding (should be stopped for the time of treatment), should not be used for children treatment (except amoebiasis cases).
Taking Metronidazole is not recommended in case if a patient suffers from liver diseases (cumulative effect is possible), kidneys problems, and central nervous system conditions.
As the majority of medicines, the drug Metronidazole may cause the occurrence of some side reactions. Among the common possible side-effects there are nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth, headaches, dizziness, syncope, ataxia, impaired consciousness, seizures, neutropenia (leukopenia), erythematous rash, itchy skin, dark color of the urine, allergic reactions. In order to reduce or eliminate the possible unwanted reactions you should discuss with your doctor the proper dosage and take Metronidazole in equal time intervals, keeping strict to the recommendations.
From the side of the nervous system, the following side effects may occur: peripheral sensory neuropathy; headache, convulsions, dizziness. From the digestive system, the drug can cause epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; inflammation of the oral mucosa (stomatitis), taste disturbances ("metallic" taste in the mouth), loss of appetite, anorexia, constipation, dryness of the oral mucosa; discoloration of the tongue / "coated" tongue (due to excessive growth of fungal micro flora); pancreatitis (reversible cases).
Adverse reactions from the immune system can be the following: angioedema, and anaphylactic shock. The possible adverse effects from the mental side: psychotic disorders, including confusion, hallucinations; depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperexcitability.
The list of possible side reactions and contraindications in this article is not complete, so you can get the whole information on the medication from your doctor. Take the medication strictly following the doctor’s instructions. Do not increase or decrease the prescribed dose of the drug. If after taking the medication you began experiencing any bothering symptoms, then you should contact your doctor.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Taking the drug Metronidazole during pregnancy and lactation is contraindicated. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy, then you should inform your doctor in advance so that the doctor prescribed you another medication that is safe for your and your baby's health.