What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking metronidazole?
You should not take metronidazole if you are allergic to it, or if you have taken disulfiram (Antabuse) within the past 2 weeks.
Using metronidazole during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using this medicine.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- Cockayne syndrome (a rare genetic disorder);
- a stomach or intestinal disease such as Crohn’s disease;
- a blood cell disorder such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) or low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- a fungal infection anywhere in your body; or
- a nerve disorder.
In animal studies, metronidazole caused certain types of tumors, some of which were cancerous. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using regular doses. Ask your doctor about your risk.
Metronidazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed within 24 hours after using metronidazole. If you use a breast pump during this time, throw out any milk you collect. Do not feed it to your baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I take metronidazole?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
If you are treating a vaginal infection, your sexual partner may also need to take metronidazole (even if no symptoms are present) or you could become reinfected.
Metronidazole is usually given for up to 10 days in a row. You may need to repeat this dosage several weeks later.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Metronidazole will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Metronidazole can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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