metronidazole, Flagyl (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

The FDA approved metronidazole tablets in July 1963.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Metronidazole is used to treat parasitic infections including Giardia infections of the small intestine, amebic liver abscess, and amebic dysentery (infection of the colon causing bloody diarrhea), bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas vaginal infections, and carriers of trichomonas (both sexual partners) who do not have symptoms of infection.

  • Metronidazole is also used alone or in combination with other antibiotics in treating abscesses in the liver, pelvis, abdomen, and brain caused by susceptible anaerobic bacteria.
  • Metronidazole is also used in treating infection of the colon caused by a bacterium called C. difficile. Many commonly-used antibiotics can alter the type of bacteria that inhabit the colon. C. difficile is an anaerobic bacterium that can infect the colon when the normal types of bacteria in the colon are inhibited by common antibiotics. This leads to inflammation of the colon (pseudomembranous colitis) with severe diarrhea and abdominal pain.)
  • Metronidazole also is used in combination with other drugs to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) that causes stomach or intestinal ulcers.
  • Metronidazole topical gel is used for treating acne rosacea.
  • Metronidazole vaginal gel is used for treating bacterial vaginosis.

SIDE EFFECTS: Metronidazole is a useful antibiotic and is generally well tolerated with appropriate use.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/17/2014

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