Metronidazole is an antiprotozoal drug, antibiotic, applied to treat a wide range of infections caused with susceptible microorganisms or for prevention of possible complications after surgeries. The drug can be used as key so as supplementary treatment of diseases. Patients, getting the drug prescribed, must pay specific attention to Metronidazole side effects. This is of ultimate importance as severe side effects affect tolerability and the chance the treatment course will be completed.
Before taking your first dosage of the drug, please, review the list of possible side effects. If you see that some of side effects of the drug will challenge your treatment, then it is recommended to discuss another treatment with your doctor. Metronidazole, though being on the WHO list of essentials, is a drug of choice. This means that is can be replaced by another drug in the therapy of the disease.
Why Metronidazole side effects are of essential importance?
Some side effects are considered to be a norm. This means that these side effects are of no risk for patient’s health. Other side effects of the drug require immediate medical attention and correction. Consulting your doctor on possible unwanted effects you will get recommendations on how to cope with worsening of health conditions (stomach pain or headache). The matter is that being on treatment with Metronidazole, you need to be extra careful with taking other drugs to avoid interaction effects. Knowing possible side effects to expect, you will be able to correctly plan your treatment and supplementary drugs relieving unwanted symptoms.
What will happen if I take a drug to relieve Metronidazole side effects?
Metronidazole features a small range of interaction medicines. If you take some drug to relieve an unwanted condition caused with Metronidazole, then there are three possible outcomes:
- the drug will help and will not affect the efficacy of Metronidazole
- the drug will interact with Metronidazole and will cause shock reaction – mind, that in this case you must call emergency asap warning that you are on the treatment with Metronidazole and combined it with another drug
- the drug will impair the efficacy and action of Metronidazole
Which side effects of Metronidazole are common?
To start with all side effects of any drug can be categorized as follows:
- minor or rare – side effects which occur rather rarely
- common side effects – these occur frequently but are tolerable and do not necessitate drug withdrawal
- severe side effects – these occur rarely, but of great risk for patient’s health and require immediate medical assistance
Let us review minor, common and severe side effects of Metronidazole and show the frequency of occurrence.
Metronidazole does not cause long term side effects. This means that all side effects go off right after treatment completion.
Among minor side effects of the drug these conditions are reported most frequently:
- abdominal cramps – the drug affects stomach flora and can cause a sort of pain
- feel of spinning
- weight loss – this side effect is not directly related to the action of Metronidazole, but is a consequence of abdominal pain and digestion dysfunction
It is recommended to track these conditions and monitor their presence. If the conditions get worse, then you are advised to report them to your healthcare provider.
Among common side effects of Metronidazole there are:
- pain in joints – the most frequently reported side effect by patients, still which is not included on the list of the most common Metronidazole side effects
- uncommon (sort of metallic) taste in the mouth – does not require additional medicines to correct; according to patient’s reviews this side effect can be corrected by strict following of the instructions – taking the drug with a full glass of water, at even intervals of time. It is not recommended to take the medicine on empty stomach.
If you experience common side effects of Metronidazole, then consult your doctor how to treat bad conditions. Do not take pain killers to relieve pain.
Severe side effects of Metronidazole are as follows:
- vision problems – blindness, blurred vision, decreased vision, eye pain
- psyche and mental impairment – confusions, speech changes, severe headache and increased irritability, feeling suppressed and depressed, lack of coordination
- digestion problems – unstoppable diarrhea (happening more than two times per hour), vomiting, loss of appetite, inability to eat due to immediate vomiting reflex
If you notice some of these side effects, do not take your next dosage of the drug and immediately report your condition to your healthcare provider.
Does it worth tolerating Metronidazole side effects?
Metronidazole is an effective drug which helps to recover from infection if taken correctly and carefully.
As patients report, only in 7% of cases severe side effects of the drug occur. Some of them require drug withdrawal and treatment termination as doctors estimate the top risks: what will do more harm to the health and life of patients – having an infection or loss of vision or tolerable headache (for example). When reporting your unwanted conditions, your doctor will estimate the severity of the condition and the risks of further worsening of the state.
However, you should understand the chance of efficacy and complete recovery when considering drug withdrawal due to side effects.
Metronidazole ensures complete recovery from vaginitis in 7 days. Most patients report ease of symptoms from the second-third day of intake.
The drug is effective and in some cases almost irreplaceable for treatment of dental infections. The drug does not kill pain and it does not make it easier, however patients report that the inflammation goes off on the third-fourth day of intake.
In 12% of cases Metronidazole causes side effects in patients who have never experienced any complications with the drugs before.
Only 3% of patients experience severe side effects making them withdraw the drug and terminate the treatment.
There are cases when patients feel decrease of sex drive, inability to develop erection, vaginal dryness. However there are no evidences and profs that these conditions are somehow related to the treatment with Metronidazole. Such side effects are reported less than by 0,2% of patients and are not on the list of conditions caused with the drug.
Unfortunately we have to put up drugs side effects in order to recover from diseases. The risks of having latent infections are much higher than the short-termed side effects of the drug.