Metronidazole is used to treat a variety of infections. It may also be used to prevent infections after certain types of surgery (e.g., bowel surgery). Metronidazole belongs to a class of antibiotics known as nitroimidazoles. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and protozoa.
This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, usually 3 or 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. This medication should be given slowly over 1 hour. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Antibiotics work best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
Continue to use this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow bacteria/protozoa to continue to grow, which may result in a return of the infection.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
This drug may cause urine to darken. This is harmless.
Tell your doctor if you have any serious side effects, including: unsteadiness, seizures, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion), numbness/tingling of hands/feet, eye pain, severe/persistent headache, stiff/painful neck, sudden vision changes, sore throat, persistent fever, unusual bleeding/bruising, severe stomach pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new vaginal yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before using metronidazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other nitroimidazoles such as tinidazole; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, severe kidney problems (not producing any urine), nervous system disorders (e.g., seizures), blood disorders, Crohn's disease, history of alcohol use/abuse, swelling (edema), using a feeding/medication tube inserted in the nose (naso-gastric tube).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Newborns may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug, because newborns are less able to remove metronidazole from their bodies.
The elderly may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: alcohol-containing products (e.g., cough and cold syrups, aftershave), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), busulfan, cimetidine, corticosteroids (e.g., methylprednisolone, prednisone), fluorouracil, lithium, lopinavir/ritonavir solution taken by mouth, drugs for seizures (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin), live bacterial vaccines.
Avoid disulfiram for 2 weeks before and during treatment with this medication.
Although most antibiotics probably do not affect hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring, some antibiotics may decrease their effectiveness. This could cause pregnancy. Examples include rifamycins such as rifampin or rifabutin. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this antibiotic.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including liver function tests, blood triglyceride levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, seizures.
Do not use needles or IV tubing that contains aluminum because this metal may cause this medication to discolor.
Treatment of a certain infection (trichomoniasis) may require that sexual partners be treated as well to avoid re-infection. During treatment, avoid sexual intercourse, or always use latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., cultures, white blood cell counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised August 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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