Metronidazole is a popular antibiotic used to treat a wide range of infections. The primary function of the antibiotic is to stop the growth of certain bacteria as well as parasites. Metronidazole only treats specific bacterial and parasitic infections, which means it will not work for viral infections (such as the common cold, flu and more). In addition, Metronidazole can be combined with other medications to treat certain stomach/intestinal ulcers caused by a bacteria known as H. pylori.
Precautions to Consider When Taking Metronidazole
Before taking the antibiotic Metronidazole, you must inform your doctor or pharmacist whether or not you are allergic to the medication itself; or to other similar antibiotics like tinidazole, or if you have any other allergies. Also, remember that this product contains inactive ingredients, which can lead to allergic reactions or other health-related problems.
Before using this Metronidazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, certain blood disorders (low blood cell counts), or even a rare genetic disorder—for instance, Cockayne syndrome.
It is essential to avoid alcoholic beverages and products containing the ingredient propylene glycol while you are on Metronidazole and for at least 3 days after finishing this medicine. This is because the combination of Metronidazole and propylene glycol can result in severe stomach upset or cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, and flushing.
In addition, this antibiotic may make you dizzy. It is critical to avoid alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) as it can make you dizzier. Avoid activities that concern alertness until you can do it safely; do not drive, use machinery, and other activities. Furthermore, Metronidazole may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) not to work as well as they usually do. Inform your health care professional about using Metronidazole before getting any immunisations or vaccinations.
Common Side Effects of Metronidazole
Similar to any other medication, some common side effects are a given when taking Metronidazole. However, most of the symptoms mentioned below are bound to go away on their own in a few days, and if they do not, it is best to consult your doctor.
First, you may experience feeling or being sick with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or even diarrhoea. You may find yourself a victim of constant agitation, back pain, temporary blindness, and decreased or blurred vision. Other side effects include burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the hands or feet, abrupt changes in speech patterns, being subjected to a state of panic or depression, dizziness, drowsiness, pain in the eye, a high fever, headache or migraine, lack of coordination, hallucinations, seizures, shakiness, unsteady walk, struggle in speaking or slurred speech, stiffness in the back or neck, and unusual fatigue.
Similarly, there are several side effects that are neither too common nor too rare. Such symptoms subside without any treatment on their own and usually do not require medical assistance. However, if the symptoms do not go away in a few days, it is wise to get your doctor involved. Side effects may include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feelings of constant movement of self or surroundings
- A sensation of spinning or vertigo
- Stomach cramps
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Sudden change in weight
- Black solid stools
- Blood in the urine
- Body aches or pain
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Chills or goosebumps
- Difficulty with breathing or asthma
- Ear congestion
- Fainting spells
- Feelings of pelvic pressure
- Irregularity in heartbeat
- Loss of voice
- Nasal congestion
- Red spots on the skin
- A runny nose
- Skin rashes, hives, redness, itching
- Frequent sneezing
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Vaginal irritation, discharge, or dryness which was not present before taking the medicine
Rare Side Effects of Metronidazole
In some cases, the side effects of Metronidazole are severe and require immediate medical attention. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Change in taste sensation
- Congestion (ears, nose)
- Dry mouth
- Pain around the eyes and cheekbones
- Tenderness or swollen glands in the neck
- Trouble with swallowing
- Unpleasant or sharp metallic taste on the tongue
- Unusual voice changes
- Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- Inability to have or keep an erection
- Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- Painful sexual intercourse