Flagyl Warnings and Precautions

Before you begin using Flagyl, warnings and precautions for the antibiotic should be discussed with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Certain people should not take this drug, including those who are allergic to any components of Flagyl and women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Prior to beginning treatment, talk to your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, alcoholism, epilepsy, or any allergies.

Flagyl: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Flagyl® (metronidazole) if you have:
 
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Alcoholism
  • Any other allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Flagyl

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with Flagyl include the following:
 
  • Flagyl can cause seizures. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you have a seizure while taking Flagyl.
     
  • Flagyl can cause nerve problems, especially in the hands and feet. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you develop numbness, paralysis, or any unusual sensations in your hands or feet.
     
  • If you have liver disease, your body may not metabolize Flagyl as well as it should. As a result, your healthcare provider will probably recommend a lower Flagyl dosage.
     
  • Flagyl can make a pre-existing yeast infection (such as thrush or a vaginal yeast infection) worse. These yeast infections usually require treatment with an antifungal medication.
     
  • It is a standard recommendation that you should avoid alcohol while taking Flagyl, although recent research suggests that Flagyl probably does not actually interact with alcohol (see Flagyl Interactions for more information).
     
  • Studies in rats and mice suggest that Flagyl may increase the risk of certain cancers. However, similar problems have not been seen in humans.
     
  • Overuse of antibiotics (including Flagyl) increases the risk for developing antibiotic-resistance bacteria. Your healthcare provider should prescribe antibiotics only when necessary (and only to treat bacterial or parasitic infections). Antibiotics are not effective for treating viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu.
     
  • It is very important to take Flagyl exactly as prescribed. Skipping doses or stopping the medication too early (even if you feel better) can lead to bacterial resistance to Flagyl.
     
  • Flagyl can interact with other medications (see Flagyl Interactions).
     
  • Flagyl is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Flagyl during pregnancy (see Flagyl and Pregnancy for more information). Currently, it is not recommended that women in their first trimester take Flagyl to treat trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection) or bacterial vaginosis.
     
  • Flagyl passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using Flagyl (see Flagyl and Breastfeeding for more information).
     
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Flagyl Antibiotic Information

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