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Please note: Brand received may vary

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis. 

See Metronidazole Patient Information Leaflet

PIL Updated on: 11/03/2019

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Please note: Brand received may vary

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis. 

See Metronidazole Patient Information Leaflet

PIL Updated on: 11/03/2019


What is Metronidazole?

Metronidazole is a generic antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV) and it can also be used against other types of infection caused by bacteria and parasites. These tablets are also available under the brand name Flagyl, which doesn’t affect what ingredients are used.

While Metronidazole is adept at tackling a wide range of infections, it is probably best known for treating specifically bacterial vaginosis, which occurs when there is a problem with the balance of bacteria inside the vagina.

How does Metronidazole work?

This treatment targets the bacterial cells responsible for the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis (or other infections) and prevents them from producing the chemicals these cells need to stabilise and multiply themselves. Without the ability to spread, the existing cells become more vulnerable to antibodies which will break them down and eventually kill them off for good.

How do I take Metronidazole?

Your prescriber will provide instructions to clarify how you should take this medication. When used by adults to treat bacterial infections, the typical initial dosage is 800mg (two 400mg tablets). After eight hours another dose of 400mg is taken and this dose is repeated every eight hours. If your child is being treated for a bacterial infection, then your doctor will work out how much of this medication they should take based on their weight.

If you are using this medication to prevent infections from occurring after surgery, then you should start taking these tablets 24 hours before your operation. The usual dosage is 400mg every eight hours. After your operation you may be given Metronidazole via other means if taking tablets is not possible initially. If these tablets are for your child due to surgery, they should start taking this medication between 1 and 2 hours before their operation. Again, your doctor will work out the right dosage for your child based on their weight.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you’re taking Metronidazole or in the first 48 hours after finishing the course.

What are the side effects of Metronidazole?

Side effects can occur while taking Metronidazole but they are a rarity. It’s always best to speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you ever do experience side effects. You should stop taking this medication and see your doctor or go to a hospital immediately if you experience the following while taking Metronidazole:

  • Swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips or throat that may be causing difficulty with swallowing or breathing. These may be signs you’re having an allergic reaction to this medication
  • You have an itchy, lumpy rash (hives) or nettle rash (urticaria). These are also signs you’re possibly having an allergic reaction
  • You’ve developed skin rashes with blistering, peeling or bleeding of the skin around the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals

You should also speak to your doctor about the use of this medication and the next steps to take if you experience any of these side effects:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (potentially caused by jaundice)
  • Severe stomach pain which may reach through to your back (pancreatitis)
  • Unexpected infections which cause symptoms such as bleeding gums, bruising, mouth ulcers or severe tiredness (potentially caused by a blood problem)

Can I take Metronidazole?

Before you start taking this medication, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a disease that affects the nervous system
  • You’re having a kidney dialysis
  • You have or have previously had a liver problem
  • You are pregnant, breast-feeding or you think you may be pregnant

You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any other medications you are currently taking (or have recently taken) as some may alter the effects of Metronidazole or vice versa. In particular, you should highlight these following medicines if you are currently using them:

  • Blood thinning agents (anti-coagulants) such as warfarin
  • Lithium (for treating mental illness)
  • Medicines that treat epilepsy such as primidone, phenytoin, phenobarbitone
  • Busulfan (for treating leukaemia)
  • Ciclosporin (used to prevent the rejection of organs after transplant)
  • 5 fluorouracil (for treating cancer)
  • Disulfiram (for treating alcoholism)

What if I take too much Metronidazole?

If you take a larger dose of this medication than you were meant to, contact your doctor or nearest hospital emergency department right away. Take the tablets as well as the box and leaflet for this medication with you (if possible) when seeing a doctor.

What if I forget to take Metronidazole?

If you end up forgetting about a dose of this medication, then take it as soon as you remember, unless your next scheduled dose is very nearly due. If your next dose is soon, then skip the forgotten dose and take the next one at the original planned time. Continue taking the following doses like usual. Don’t ever take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.

What other infections can Metronidazole treat?

As well as treating bacterial vaginosis, this medication can be used to help prevent infections occurring after you’ve had surgery. Metronidazole can also be used for tackling infections in other areas of the body where bacteria or parasites are involved. These includes the following:

  • Blood infections
  • Brain infections
  • Lung infections
  • Infections in the bones
  • Infections in the pelvic area
  • Infections in the intestines
  • Stomach infections
  • Gum ulcers and other dental infections
  • Infected leg ulcers and pressure sores

How is my order shipped to me?

When an order is ready for shipping, it is collected and delivered by either the Royal Mail or DPD depending on your preference (or possibly your location or the item you ordered). Each order is assigned a tracking number, which will be emailed to you at the time of dispatch. Your medicine will be sent in plain and discreet packaging that’s eco-friendly. We do not include any branding on our packaging nor any labels which inform readers what type of product is contained within.

Dosage instructions
Take ONE tablet twice daily for 5–7 days.