General Practice 2022

Metronidazole: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

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Metronidazole: what it is for, how to use it and side effects
Metronidazole: what it is for, how to use it and side effects
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Metronidazole is an antimicrobial drug indicated for the treatment of giardiasis, amoebiasis, trichomoniasis, vaginitis caused by Gardnerella vaginalis and other infections caused by bacteria and protozoa sensitive to this substance.

This medicine must be used with medical advice and can be found in the form of tablets, ointment, suspension, eggs, vaginal gel or injectable solution. See what it's for and how to use metronidazole in vaginal gel.

Metronidazole can be purchased in pharmacies or drugstores, upon presentation of a medical prescription, with the trade names Flagyl, Canderm, Helmizol, Trinodazole or Colpatrin, for example.

What is it for

Metronidazole is indicated for the treatment of:

  • Infections of the small intestine caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia (giardiasis);
  • Infections caused by amoebas (amoebiasis);
  • Infections produced by various species of Trichomonas (trichomoniasis),
  • Vaginitis caused by Gardnerella vaginalis;
  • Infections caused by anaerobic bacteria such as Bacteroides fragilis and other bacteroides, Fusobacterium sp, Clostridium sp, Eubacterium sp and anaerobic cocci;
  • Bacterial septicemia;
  • Endocarditis caused by Bacterioides sp;
  • Infections in the abdominal cavity such as liver or abdominal abscess, or peritonitis, caused by anaerobic bacteria.

In addition, metronidazole can also be indicated by the doctor to prevent infections in colon or rectal intestinal surgeries.

Get to know the different types of vaginitis and learn how to treat it.

How to use

Dosage depends on the infection to be treated and on the presentation of metronidazole indicated by the doctor:

1. Trichomoniasis

The recommended dose is 2 g as a single dose, or 250 mg twice a day for 10 days or 400 mg twice a day for 7 days. The treatment can be repeated, if the doctor deems it necessary, after 4 to 6 weeks.

Sexual partners should also be treated with 2 g in a single dose to prevent relapses and reciprocal reinfections.

2. Vaginitis and urethritis caused by Gardnerella vaginalis

The recommended dose is 2 g as a single dose on the first and third days of treatment or 400 to 500 mg twice a day for 7 days.

The sexual partner should be treated with 2 g in a single dose.

3. Giardiasis

The recommended dose for adults is 1 tablet of 250 mg 3 times a day for 5 days.

For children 1 to 5 years of age, the recommended dose is 5 mL of metronidazole oral suspension twice daily for 5 days. For children aged 5 to 10 years, the recommended dose is 5 mL of oral suspension, 3 times a day, for 5 days.

4. Amoebiasis

For the treatment of intestinal amoebiasis, the recommended dose is 500 mg, 4 times a day, for 5 to 7 days. For the treatment of hepatic amebiasis, the recommended dose is 500 mg 4 times a day for 7 to 10 days.

5. Infections caused by anaerobic bacteria

For the treatment of infections caused by anaerobic bacteria, the recommended dose of metronidazole for adults and children over 12 years of age is 1 tablet of 400 mg 3 times a day for 7 days or as directed by a physician.

For children under 12 years of age, metronidazole should preferably be used in suspension form, with the recommended dose being 7.5 mg per kg of body weight, 3 times a day, for 7 days, as indicated by the pediatrician.

6. Prevention of surgical infection

The dose of metronidazole to prevent surgical infection should be indicated by the doctor according to the type of surgery to be performed. Generally, the recommended dose for adults and children 12 years of age and older is 500 mg every 8 hours as a solution for injection, made in the hospital, starting approximately 48 hours before surgery, and the last dose should be given at least 12 hours later. hours before surgery.

Possible side effects

Some of the side effects that may occur during metronidazole treatment are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, metallic taste sensation in the mouth, loss of appetite, headache, excessive tiredness or dizziness.

In addition, some more serious side effects can arise such as seizures or peripheral neuropathy, with symptoms such as tingling sensation, pain or sensitivity in the hands or feet, for example, it is important to inform the doctor if the person has these symptoms. Know how to identify the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Who should not use

Metronidazole should not be used by people who are allergic to metronidazole or any other component of the formula.

In addition, it should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without medical advice.

Metronidazole in tablet form should not be used by children under 12 years of age.

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