Flagyl – Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic for Bacterial Infections

Flagyl - Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic for Bacterial InfectionsFlagyl is an efficient broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antiprotozoal agent. It contains Metronidazole. It is released in 250, 500 mg pills. It is also applied in dogs as prescribed by veterinarian.

What is Flagyl commonly prescribed for?

  • Protozoal infections: extraintestinal amebiasis, including amoebic liver abscess, intestinal amebiasis (amoebic dysentery), trichomoniasis, balantidiasis, giardiasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis, trichomonas vaginitis, trichomonas urethritis;
  • Infections caused by Bacteroides spp. (including Bacteroides fragilis, Bacteroides distasonis, Bacteroides ovatus, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides vulgatus): infections of bones and joints, CNS infections, incl. meningitis, brain abscess, bacterial endocarditis, pneumonia, empyema and lung abscess, sepsis;
  • Infections caused by Clostridium spp., Peptococcus and Peptostreptococcus species: infections of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis, liver abscess), infections of the pelvic organs (endometritis, abscess of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, infections of the vaginal vault);
  • Pseudomembranous colitis (associated with the antibiotics’ use);
  • Gastritis or duodenal ulcer associated with Helicobacter pylori (combination therapy);
  • Prevention of postoperative complications (especially interventions on the colon, pararectal region, appendectomy, gynecological operations).

Is Flagyl a strong antibiotic?

It is a potent drug that can cause severe side effects. It should be taken only under doctor’s recommendation. The dosages are 250 and 500 mg intended to treat several bacterial infections.

What kind of bacteria does Flagyl kill?

The drug is highly active against Trichomonas vaginalis, Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica, Lamblia intestinalis, as well as against obligate anaerobes (spore- and non-spore-forming) – Bacteroides spp. (B.fragilis, B.ovatus, B.distasonis, B.thetaiotaomicron, B.vulgatus), Fusobacterium spp., Clostridium spp., Peptostreptococcus spp., Peptococcus spp., Sensitive Eubacterium strains.

In patients with diagnosed C. difficile infection, the recommended antibiotic is metronidazole in a dosage of 250 mg orally 4 times per day or 500 mg orally 3 times per day for 10 to 14 days.

What should I avoid while taking Flagyl?

  • Organic lesions of the central nervous system;
  • Blood diseases, incl. a history of leukopenia;
  • Hepatic impairment (in the case of large doses);
  • Pregnancy;
  • Breastfeeding;
  • Children under 6 years of age;
  • Hypersensitivity to imidazoles.

What are the most common side effects?

  • The blood and lymphatic system: very rarely – agranulocytosis, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia; unknown – leukopenia.
  • The immune system: rarely – anaphylaxis; unknown – angioedema, urticaria, fever.
  • The metabolic and nutritional disorders: unknown – anorexia.
  • The mental disorders: very rarely – mental disorders, including confusion and hallucinations; unknown – depression.
  • The nervous system: very rarely – encephalopathy (for example: confusion, fever, headache, hallucinations, paralysis, photophobia, visual and movement disorders, stiff neck) and subacute cerebellar syndrome (for example: ataxia, dysarthria, gait disturbances, nystagmus and tremor), which undergo regression after discontinuation of metronidazole, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions, headache; unknown – peripheral sensory neuropathy or transient epileptic-like seizures, which in most cases pass after drug withdrawal or dose reduction, aseptic meningitis.
  • The organ of vision: very rarely – transient visual impairment, including diplopia and myopia; unknown – neuropathy or optic neuritis.
  • The gastrointestinal tract: unknown – disturbances in taste, stomatitis, coated tongue, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, diarrhea.
  • The liver and biliary tract: very rarely – an increase in the level of liver enzymes (AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase), cholestatic or mixed hepatitis and hepatocellular liver damage, jaundice and pancreatitis, which is reversible after discontinuation of the drug. In patients receiving metronidazole in combination with other antibiotics, cases of liver failure have been reported, requiring liver transplantation.
  • The skin and subcutaneous tissues: very rarely – rash, pustular skin rash, itching, flushing of the skin; unknown – erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or toxic epidermal necrolysis.
  • The musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: very rare – myalgia, arthralgia.
  • The kidneys and urinary tract: very rarely – dark urine coloration due to the presence of metronidazole pigments.
  • Genital and breast disorders: unknown – vaginal pain and candidiasis.

Can I eat yogurt while taking this antibiotic?

Do not take dairy products (yogurt), calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, multivitamins with minerals, colestipol, cholestyramine, didanosine, or anti-acid drugs within 2 hours of taking this drug.

How long does Flagyl stay in the system?

Flagyl is rather slowly excreted from the body. Its half-life is within 6-10 hours. The excretion of the drug is dramatically lengthened in newborns and can reach 25 hours. It is necessary to take into account the cumulative effect during the treatment course. Prolonged action, good penetration into organs, tissues and biological fluids in combination with high serum concentrations and bactericidal activity make it possible in some cases to successfully carry out treatment with a loading dose once, which completely excludes the cumulative effect.

Does Flagyl treat STD?

Yes, it is. Women use this antibiotic to treat STD and UTI.

Trichomoniasis with clinical symptoms – metronidazole is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic trichomoniasis in women and men if the presence of Trichomonas has been confirmed by appropriate laboratory tests.

Asymptomatic trichomoniasis. It is indicated for the treatment of women with asymptomatic trichomoniasis (endocervicitis, cervicitis, or cervical erosion). Since there is evidence that the presence of Trichomonas can interfere with the accurate assessment of cytologic smears, additional smears should be performed after the parasite has eradicated.

Treatment of a spouse without clinical manifestations. T. vaginalis infection is a sexually transmitted disease. Thus, symptomatic sexual partners should be treated concurrently to prevent re-infection from the partner, even if the pathogen is not isolated. The decision as to whether to treat a non-symptomatic male partner who does not have Trichomonas, or if no analysis has been performed, is individual. In making this decision, it should be noted that there is evidence that a woman can become infected again if her spouse has not been treated. In addition, since there are significant difficulties in isolating the pathogen in a patient without clinical manifestations, one should not rely on a negative smear and culture result. In any case, in case of re-infection, the spouses should be treated with metronidazole at the same time.

What happens if you drink while taking Flagyl?

If you drink alcohol while taking this antibacterial agent, the deterioration in health condition. Side effects may be increased.

During the treatment period, ethanol abuse is contraindicated (disulfiram-like reactions may develop: abdominal pain of a spastic nature, nausea, vomiting, headache, sudden flushes of blood to the face). Patients should refuse from alcohol intake for at least 48 hours after discontinuing metronidazole therapy.

How to deal with Flagyl side effects?

Address your physician to overcome side effects caused by this antibiotic. There is no specific antidote, symptomatic and supportive therapy is prescribed.

How to prevent yeast infection?

Adnexitis is the general name for a group of infectious and inflammatory gynecological diseases including yeast infections. It takes first place in terms of frequence. It affects 65% of women. In every 5th patient it causes infertility. To eliminate inflammatory processes in the female reproductive system, several types of antibiotics are actively used – Flagyl, Doxycycline, Azithromycin.

At the initial treatment stage, broad-spectrum antibiotics are used, which suppress most of the pathogenic microorganisms that cause diseases of the genitourinary system. Only after the diagnosis is clarified, the therapy regimen is adjusted, choosing the drugs with the most potent effect.

This antibiotic contains metronidazole as an active substance of the same name. It has an antiprotozoal and antimicrobial effect. Metronidazole is intended for the treatment of pathologies caused by pathogens – Trichomonas, plasmodia, lamblia and anaerobes, including yeast infection. A characteristic feature of this antibiotic is that it has the main effect on the focus of infection.

The active substance binds to the DNA of bacteria or protozoa, disrupts the formation of nucleic acids, which contributes to the death of the pathogen. The drug is recommended to be used separately from other drugs.

During treatment, it is not allowed to take alcohol-containing products or alcohol. The medicine is produced in the form of a solution for infusion, tablets, vaginal gel and suppositories. When treating ovaries or inflammation of the appendages, keep in mind that Metronidazole is contraindicated in patients with pathologies of the blood, liver, disorders of the central nervous system. Flagyl cannot be used for the treatment of adnexitis in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and during breastfeeding, since it easily penetrates the placental barrier and is excreted in milk. In subsequent periods of pregnancy, the results of therapy should be monitored by a doctor.