Use of Metronidazole and Alcohol Consumption

Metronidazole is a prescription medication that is used for many different infections.

It is known by several name brands, including Flagyl, MetroGel, MetroLotion, MetroGel-Vaginal, MetroCream, Noritate and Vandazole. This medication is a powerful and often helpful antibiotic often used when patients suffer from parasitic or anaerobic bacterial infections. The medication is available in lotions, skin creams, vaginal creams and tablet form.

Many pharmacists, doctors and patients have been trained that a severe interaction between Metronidazole and alcohol exist. Some of the rumored interactions are reported as severe while others are reported as dangerous. The printout from the pharmacy will probably warn patients to avoid using alcohol while using the medication and for three days after the last form of the medication has been used. According to the literature, there are severe side effects that could include Vomiting, Nausea, Digestive upset, Flushing and Headache.

Users of the medication may be interested to find that recent clinical trials have failed to show any significant interaction involving Metronidazole with alcohol. Even though no interaction has been demonstrated, most pharmacists and other health care providers will likely still warn patients of a possible interaction between the medication and alcohol. While it is probably a good idea to avoid alcohol when trying to overcome an infection, these new studies show that the supposed reaction between Metronidazole and Alcohol is primarily due to the possible side effects of the medication alone.

Patients may wonder why they were told to avoid the use of alcohol when taking Metronidazole. This is due to the fact that the older school of thought on the medication was that there were interactions between the two substances. Most health care providers learned this interaction as one of the first things and what was then supposed to be the most important things to inform patients about when writing the prescription. Healthcare providers that have not had a chance to keep updated on the interaction may be unaware of the recent research stating that mixing the two may not cause a problem.
Additionally, there are many supposedly credible references, such as the official information provided by the manufacturer that provide warnings about it interacting with alcohol. This causes even those professionals who are informed about the newest research to warn their patients in order to avoid charges of malpractice and lawsuits for failing to provide the warning.

With the new information available, patients will have the final decision as to whether to mix Metronidazole and Alcohol. There is the possibility of some unpleasant side effects, including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, headache and flushing. According to the literature, these side effects may occur with any of the forms of the medications. Persons that choose to consume both Metronidazole and Alcohol should report the effects or the lack of effects to the providers, including both the pharmacist and the physician. This data is useful in providing recommendations for future patients that will be using this effective antibiotic for anaerobic bacterial infections as well as for parasites.