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Metronidazole is used to treat infections of the gum and dental cavity, pelvic area, brain, lung, bones, stomach, intestines, genital tract and blood. It is used to treat pressure sores and leg ulcers and prevent infections after surgery.

How it works

Metronidazole belongs to a class of medicines called as nitroimidazole antibiotics. It works by inhibiting energy production and killing the bacteria and parasites that cause infections in the body.

Common side effects

Allergic reaction, Itching, Skin rash, Joint pain, Bitter taste, Dark colored urine, Dry mouth, Furry tongue, Loss of appetite, Mouth irritation, Throat irritation, Nasal congestion, Stomach upset, Numbness, Tingling sensation, Weakness, Fever, Vomiting, Diarrhoea


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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


Q. Is metronidazole safe?
Yes, metronidazole is a relatively safe drug if used in prescribed dose and for prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. What is metronidazole?
 Metronidazole is an antibiotic.
Q. Is it antibiotic or pain killer?
Metronidazole is an antibiotic and not pain killer.

Q. What it is used for?
It is used for infections of the dental cavity, ears, sinus, throat, lungs, stomach, intestine, brain and bones.
Q. Is metronidazole same as Flagyl?
Yes. Flagyl is a branded medicine containing metronidazole.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. Is metronidazole an OTC product?
No, metronidazole is not an OTC product.
Q. 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 15 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)