Metronidazole is an antibiotic. It is used to treat infections of the stomach, intestines, pelvic area, genital tract, skin, lungs, blood, brain and bones.
This medicine may also be used to prevent infections after a surgery.
Use Metronidazole exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Suppositories are usually given when you are not able to swallow oral medication. It will be replaced with an oral Metronidazole therapy as soon as you are well enough to swallow a tablet or capsule.
The suppository is to be inserted into the rectum. Do not eat, chew or swallow it. Do not use it in any other way. Try to go to the toilet before you insert the suppository.
Follow these steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Remove the suppository from the foil wrapper.
- If you are right-handed, lie on your left side and pull your right knee up to your chest.
- Gently insert the suppository with the pointed end first into your rectum. Gently push the suppository as far as it would go.
- Remain lying in this position for 10 -15 minutes to allow the suppository to melt. If you feel that the suppository is slipping out, press your buttocks together. The suppository must remain in the rectum so that the medicine can be absorbed.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your infection.
Use this medicine at regular intervals. Complete the entire course of the medicine.
Administer the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to administer your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not use Metronidazole if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or other similar medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe liver disease
- kidney problems or undergoing dialysis treatment
- with or a history of blood disease
- nervous system disorder (disease of the brain, spinal cord or nerves)
- Cockayne syndrome (a rare disorder characterised by unusually short height, premature aging, sensitivity to sunlight, visual and hearing problems)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for certain laboratory tests or an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using Metronidazole.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Metronidazole may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, furry tongue, metallic taste in the mouth, and constipation.
Your urine may look darker in colour. This is normal while you are being treated with this medicine; do not be alarmed.
If you develop rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes, stop taking Metronidazole and inform your doctor quickly. These could be signs of an allergic reaction.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- signs of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes
- severe stomach pain which may reach through to your back
- fever, stiff neck, hallucination (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent), confusion, muscle coordination problems, difficulty in speaking
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not use Metronidazole if you have taken disulfiram (medicine used to treat alcohol dependence) in the last 14 days.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for epilepsy (seizures or fits) e.g. phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin
- medicines for cancer e.g. busulfan, fluorouracil
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- medicines for depression e.g. lithium
- medicines for organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Metronidazole.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Keep suppositories in their original package to protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.