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Metronidazole – uses, health risks, and side effects at

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by

Metronidazole is a drug used to treat bacterial infections of the joints, respiratory tract, skin, stomach, or vagina. It may be combined with other drugs to treat stomach ulcers.

The drug is an antibiotic and it works by eliminating bacteria in the body.

Metronidazole is sold under the brand names Flagyl and Flagyl ER (extended-release).

Known health risks or side effects of metronidazole

Metronidazole may cause common side effects such as:

  • Appetite loss
  • A cough, runny nose, or sneezing
  • Dark-colored or reddish-brown urine
  • Dizziness
  • Dryness in the mouth or a metallic taste
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Mouth or tongue irritation
  • An upset stomach
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Vomiting

You may need emergency medical attention if you experience severe side effects like:

  • Confusion
  • A fever or chills
  • Joint pain
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Muscle twitching
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Pain when urinating
  • Seizures
  • Signs of an allergic reaction – May include breathing difficulties; hives; a rash; or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Slurred speech
  • A stiff neck
  • Tremors
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vision problems or pain behind the eyes
  • White patches or sores in the mouth or on the lips

List of organs that might be affected by metronidazole

An overdose of metronidazole may cause the following complications:

  • Burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, consult a healthcare professional. If your symptoms are severe, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Food items or nutrients that have similar effects to metronidazole

The following foods or nutrients, which are natural antibiotics, have similar effects to metronidazole:

  • Garlic Garlic, which has preventive and curative properties, can help fight various bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
  • Goldenseal – Goldenseal, which is available in capsule form or as a tea, can treat respiratory and digestive problems. It can also fight diarrhea caused by bacteria and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Goldenseal can also help treat skin infections. Additionally, it has berberine, a crucial component of natural antibiotics. Do not give goldenseal to infants or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Honey – Honey can be used as an ointment to hasten wound healing and prevent or draw out infection. It can treat bedsores, burns, chronic wounds, skin grafts, and ulcers. Honey’s antibacterial properties are often attributed to its hydrogen peroxide content.
  • Oregano Oregano has antioxidant properties and it can help strengthen the immune system. Aside from having possible anti-inflammatory properties, oregano oil is a natural antibiotic.

Treatment and management options for the side effects of metronidazole

The following treatments and management options can help prevent the side effects associated with metronidazole, like diarrhea:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – Apple cider vinegar can help treat diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection. ACV has antibiotic properties and its pectin content can help soothe intestinal spasms.
  • Caraway tea – Caraway tea can help ease intestinal spasms and discomfort that occurs when you have diarrhea. Make a cup of tea by brewing a teaspoon of caraway seeds in one cup of boiling water. Cover the mixture then let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain before drinking.
  • Chamomile teaChamomile tea can help ease intestinal spasms and inflammation caused by diarrhea.

Where to learn more


Metronidazole is a drug used to treat bacterial infections of the joints, respiratory tract, skin, stomach, or vagina.

Metronidazole may cause common side effects such as appetite loss, dizziness, dryness in the mouth or a metallic taste, and mild diarrhea.

An overdose of metronidazole may cause complications like nausea, seizures, and vomiting.

Garlic, goldenseal, honey, and oregano are natural antibiotics and they have similar effects to metronidazole.

Apple cider vinegar, caraway tea, and chamomile tea can help prevent the side effects associated with metronidazole, like diarrhea.

Sources include:


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