Metronidazole Injection

pronounced as (me troe ni' da zole)

Brand Name(s): Flagyl® I.V., Flagyl®I.V. RTU®, also available generically

Why is this medicine prescribed?

Metronidazole injection is used to treat certain skin, blood, bone, joint, gynecologic, and abdominal (stomach area) infections caused by bacteria. It is also used to treat endocarditis (infection of the heart lining and valves), meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord), and certain respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Metronidazole injection is also to prevent infection when used before, during, and after colorectal surgery. Metronidazole injection is in a class of medications called antibacterials. It works by killing bacteria and protozoa that cause infection.

Antibiotics such as metronidazole injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.infections of the respiratory tract, including bronchitis, pneumonia

Are there other uses for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Metronidazole injection comes as a solution and is infused (injected slowly) intravenously (into a vein). It is usually infused over a period of 30 minutes to 1 hour every 6 hours. The length of treatment depends on the type of infection being treated. Your doctor will tell you how long to use metronidazole injection.

You may receive metronidazole injection in a hospital, or you may use the medication at home. If you will be using metronidazole injection at home, your health care provider will show you how to infuse the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with metronidazole injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Use metronidazole injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using metronidazole injection too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using metronidazole injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to metronidazole, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in metronidazole injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor if you are have taken or are taking disulfiram (Antabuse). Your doctor will probably tell you not to use metronidazole injection if you are taking this medication or have taken it within the last 2 weeks.
  • some medications should not be taken with metronidazole injection. Other medications may cause dosing changes or extra monitoring when taken with metronidazole injection. Make sure you have discussed any medications you are currently taking or plan to take before starting metronidazole injection with your doctor and pharmacist. Before starting, stopping, or changing any medications while receiving metronidazole injection, please get the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
  • the following nonprescription product may interact with metronidazole injection: cimetidine (Tagamet). Be sure to let your doctor and pharmacist know that you are taking these medications before you start receiving metronidazole injection. Do not start any of these medications while receiving metronidazole injection without discussing with your healthcare provider.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had Crohn's disease (a condition in which the body attacks the lining of the digestive tract, causing pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever), a yeast infection, edema (fluid retention and swelling; excess fluid held in body tissues), or blood, kidney, or liver disease.
  • remember not to drink alcoholic beverages or take products with alcohol or propylene glycol while receiving metronidazole injection and for at least 3 days after treatment is finished. Alcohol and propylene glycol may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, sweating, and flushing (redness of the face) when taken during treatment with metronidazole injection.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using metronidazole injection, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What side effects can this medicine cause?

Metronidazole injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain and cramping
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • headache
  • irritability
  • depression
  • weakness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • dry mouth; sharp, unpleasant metallic taste
  • furry tongue; mouth or tongue irritation
  • redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using metronidazole injection and call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • itching
  • hives
  • skin blistering, peeling, or shedding in the area
  • flushing
  • seizures
  • numbness, pain, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet
  • fever, eye sensitivity to light, stiff neck
  • difficulty speaking
  • problems with coordination
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • dizziness

Metronidazole injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What other information should I know?

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving metronidazole injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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