Flagyl Side Effects

On this page, you’ll find 5 of the most common Flagyl side effects and what you can do to avoid them. You will also find out how Flagly works as a bacterial vaginosis treatment option, and if this antibiotic can successfully get rid of recurrent bacterial vaginosis.

Even though it has side effects, Flagyl has a higher success rate in treating BV

Flagyl is an effective and valued defense against Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It is the tablet form of a well known drug called Metronidazole. In comparison with Metrogel (which is the gel form of Metronidazole), Flagyl has a higher success rate in treating BV. Flagyl is also used in treating parasitic infections such as amoeba and Giardia lambia. However, it can be used to treat other infections at the discretion of a doctor. Flagyl tablets contain 250-500mg of Metronidazole. Other ingredients include:

• Titanium dioxide.
• Polyethylene glycol.
• Hypromellose.
• Stearic acid.

How Flagyl Works, and its effects

Like Metronidazole, Flagyl works by disabling certain functions of the DNA in the bacteria, which causes the bacteria to die. Flagyl generally stays in your body for about 8-10 hours before it is eliminated. The major route your body uses in elimination of Flagyl and its metabolites is via urine (60-80%) and fecal excretion (6-15%). Flagyl is generally safe to use by most women with BV. In fact most women tolerate it quite well. However, it can have adverse effects on unborn babies and therefore it should not be used during the first three months of pregnancy. It is also not recommended for breast feeding mothers as it can have detrimental effects on nursing infants.

Common Flagyl Side Effects

The common side effects which women may develop can be categorized into the following groups:

1. Nervous System Effects
Nervous system side effects include: headache, dizziness, syncope, optic neuropathy, confusion, weakness, insomnia, ataxia, encephalopathy and vertigo. Less common side effects which have been reported include: disorientation, agitation and hallucinations.

Most of these symptoms may start to occur after exceeding doses of 1000-2400mg per day for at least 30 days which is equivalent to a total dosage of 50 grams. Seizures associated with Flagyl are rare, but they do occur in certain BV patients. Some people might also experience a tingling sensation or numbness in their hands or feet.

2. Gastrointestinal Effects
These include: metallic after-taste which can persist for a few hours after using Flagyl, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Other less common symptoms are: loss of appetite, dry mouth, constipation and abdominal pains. Vomiting and rapid heartbeat may occur if you consume alcohol while using this drug.

3. Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitive side effects include: Toxic epidermal necrolysis, flushing, dryness of vagina or vulva, rash and urticaria. Fever and slight chills have also been reported.

4. Dermatologic Effects
These include: skin rash, pruritis and itching. However, the itching and skin rash is normally not severe and is only experienced within the first two weeks of treatment. If the itching persists or is severe you should see a doctor.

5. Genitourinary Effects
Flagyl may cause the urine to darken but this effect should not alarm you. Other side effects are: polyuria (excessive urination), painful urination, bladder inflammation and crystallization of the urine.

The doctor will normally specify which dosage you should take. Generally the recommended amount is two 500mg capsules each day for seven days or one 750mg tab per day for the same duration. In case of overdose, you should seek medical attention quickly.

Safety Tips and Warnings
Do not consume alcohol while you’re taking Flagyl even 3 days after you stop using it. This is generally done to avoid unpleasant side effects like flushing, vomiting, nausea and redness under your skin. Flagyl works best when constant levels of the drug are maintained in the bloodstream, so following your prescription properly is important.
Medications that cause nervous system toxicity should not be taken with Flagyl. This is because the nervous system side effects may increase. Do not take grape juice while taking Flagyl because it interferes with the liver’s ability to break it down. It is recommended to take Flagyl with food to avoid stomach upset.

Always make sure you consult your doctor first before taking any other antibiotic with Flagyl. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have the following severe reactions to Flagyl:

• Difficulty in breathing.
• Swelling of the face, lips or tongue.
• Severe vaginal irritation.

You are advised not to use Flagyl if you have a history of blood disease.

Can Flagyl Cure Recurrent BV?

Like all other antibiotics, the answer is no. This is because Flagyl kills both the healthy and the bad bacteria in the vagina. Hence, BV symptoms usually reappear within 3 weeks of treatment. The only way to guarantee that BV will not recur is to eliminate the root cause of the infection. However, in comparison with other antibiotics, Flagyl has one of the lowest recurrence rates. For a more long lasting solution, you can use natural cures like yoghurt or garlic to treat BV. These treatments rarely have any side effects.

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