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Metronidazole is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and bacterial infections

How it works

Metronidazole is an antibiotic. It kills the bacteria that cause infections.

Common side effects

Joint pain, Angioedema (swelling of deeper layers of skin), Throat irritation, Nasal congestion, Vomiting, Weakness, Allergic reaction, Dry mouth, Nausea, Skin irritation, Coating on tongue, Numbness, Loss of appetite, Fever, Itching, Furry tongue, Dry skin, Diarrhoea, Dark colored urine, Skin rash, Altered taste, Urticaria, Bitter taste, Stomach upset, Tingling sensation, Mouth irritation

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Expert advice

  • Take these tablets without crushing during or just after a meal with water.
  • Consult your doctor before using metronidazole if you have liver disease, nervous disorders or if you are undergoing kidney dialysis.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking medicines such as warfarin (and other blood-thinners), astemizole, lithium, phenytoin, phenobarbital, disulfiram and vitamins.
  • Do not take the medicine if you are allergic to metronidazole or to any other content in the medicine.
  • Do not take alcohol while taking this medicine as it may lead to headaches, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach cramps, sweating and flushing (redness of the face).
  • Do not drive or operate heavy medicine after taking the medicine as it may temporarily cause dizziness and problems in vision.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses or apply sunscreen before stepping out in the sun as this drug may increase the sensitivity to sunlight.

Frequently asked questions



Is metronidazole safe?
Yes, metronidazole is a relatively safe drug if used in prescribed dose and for prescribed duration as advised by your doctor


What is metronidazole?
Metronidazole is an antibiotic


Is it antibiotic or pain killer?
Metronidazole is an antibiotic and not pain killer

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What it is used for?
It is used for infections of the dental cavity, ears, sinus, throat, lungs, stomach, intestine, brain and bones


Is metronidazole same as Flagyl?
Yes. Flagyl is a branded medicine containing metronidazole


Does metronidazole cure STDs or yeast infections?
Metronidazole cures genital infections like bacterial vaginosis and gonorrhea. It does not cure chlamydia or vaginal yeast infections


Does metronidazole affect birth control?
There is no evidence of metronidazole affecting contraception. Please consult your doctor to confirm whether you require a secondary birth control measure while taking metronidazole


Is metronidazole an OTC product?
No, metronidazole is not an OTC product


Can metronidazole cause nausea, vomiting, constipation or irregular monthly periods?
Metronidazole may cause nausea, vomiting, constipation or upset stomach. However, there is no evidence of metronidazole affecting monthly periods. If you notice any such symptoms, please consult your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)