Metronidazole injection can cause cancer in laboratory animals. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Metronidazole injection is used to treat certain skin, blood, bone, joint, gynecologic, and abdominal (stomach area) infections caused by bacteria. It is also used to treat endocarditis (infection of the heart lining and valves), meningitis (infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord), and certain respiratory infections, including pneumonia. Metronidazole injection is also to prevent infection when used before, during, and after colorectal surgery. Metronidazole injection is in a class of medications called antibacterials. It works by killing bacteria and protozoa that cause infection.
Antibiotics such as metronidazole injection will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.infections of the respiratory tract, including bronchitis, pneumonia
How should this medicine be used?
Metronidazole injection comes as a solution and is infused (injected slowly) intravenously (into a vein). It is usually infused over a period of 30 minutes to 1 hour every 6 hours. The length of treatment depends on the type of infection being treated. Your doctor will tell you how long to use metronidazole injection.
You may receive metronidazole injection in a hospital, or you may use the medication at home. If you will be using metronidazole injection at home, your health care provider will show you how to infuse the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with metronidazole injection. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Use metronidazole injection until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using metronidazole injection too soon or if you skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using metronidazole injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to metronidazole, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in metronidazole injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are have taken or are taking disulfiram (Antabuse). Your doctor will probably tell you not to use metronidazole injection if you are taking this medication or have taken it within the last 2 weeks.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), busulfan (Buselfex, Myleran), cimetidine (Tagamet), corticosteroids, lithium (Lithobid), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with metronidazole injection, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had Crohn's disease (a condition in which the body attacks the lining of the digestive tract, causing pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever), a yeast infection, edema (fluid retention and swelling; excess fluid held in body tissues), or blood, kidney, or liver disease.
- remember not to drink alcoholic beverages or take products with alcohol or propylene glycol while receiving metronidazole injection and for at least 3 days after treatment is finished. Alcohol and propylene glycol may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, sweating, and flushing (redness of the face) when taken during treatment with metronidazole injection.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using metronidazole injection, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Metronidazole injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain and cramping
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- dry mouth; sharp, unpleasant metallic taste
- furry tongue; mouth or tongue irritation
- redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using metronidazole injection and call your doctor immediately:
- skin blistering, peeling, or shedding in the area
- numbness, pain, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet
- fever, eye sensitivity to light, stiff neck
- difficulty speaking
- problems with coordination
Metronidazole injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What other information should I know?
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving metronidazole injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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