Flagyl is used for infections caused by anaerobic bacteria or micro-organisms called protozoa. It works by killing the bacteria or protozoa.
How Is Flagyl Taken?
- Flagyl is taken orally in tablet form. In order for Flagyl to effectively kill harmful bacteria, it is important to maintain a constant level of Flagyl in the blood. Therefore, it must be taken at regular intervals without missing any doses. Take Flagyl with a full glass of water.
- Flagyl can be taken by itself, or it can be taken with meals. If dry mouth becomes bothersome, try chewing gum, or sucking on hard sweets.
Important information about Flagyl
Take Flagyl for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Flagyl will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Flagyl and for at least 3 days after you stop taking it.
How should I take Flagyl?
- Take Flagyl exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
- Take the extended-release metronidazole tablet on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal. Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Take Flagyl for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Flagyl will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
- To be sure Flagyl is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
- This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Flagyl.
- Store Flagyl at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
- Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
- Seek emergency medical attention.
- Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, numbness and tingling, or seizures (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Flagyl?
- Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Flagyl and for at least 3 days after you stop taking it. You may have unpleasant side effects such as fast heartbeats, warmth or redness under your skin, tingly feeling, nausea, and vomiting.
- Check the labels of any medicines or food products you use to make sure they do not contain alcohol.
- Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhoea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhoea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Flagyl and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhoea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Side effects of Flagyl
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The majority of these side effects are very rare.
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
- Unpleasant taste.
- Sensation of a furry tongue.
- Inflamed and sore mouth.
- Loss of appetite.
- Severe swelling of lips, face or tongue (angioedema).
- Shaky movements and unsteady walk (ataxia).
- Skin rashes or itching.
- Pain in the muscles or joints.
- Darkening of the urine.
- Visual disturbances.
- Depressed mood.
- Liver disorders.
- Disorder of the peripheral nerves called peripheral neuropathy, that causes weakness and numbness (on prolonged or intensive therapy).
- Decrease in the number of white blood cells in the blood (leucopenia).
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What other drugs will affect Flagyl?
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
- seizure medication such as phenytoin or phenobarbitone;
- a blood thinner such as warfarin;
- lithium; or
- disulfiram (Antabuse).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Flagyl. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Are There Any Food Interactions?
Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed until 72 hours (3 days) after the last dose of Flagyl is taken. Consuming alcohol while taking Flagyl could result in abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing. Flagyl can also change the taste of alcohol. Take care to avoid alcohol from unexpected sources, such as over-the-counter cough suppressants or cold products.
Is Flagyl Safe During Pregnancy?
- Pregnant women in their first trimester should avoid Flagyl. The effect that Flagyl has on an unborn child has not been studied extensively. Flagyl should only be used during pregnancy if it is clearly needed. Notify the prescribing doctor if you become pregnant while you are taking Flagyl. Flagyl does pass into breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. It should be used with care in nursing mothers.