Is It Safe To Take Metronidazole After Drinking Alcohol?
Flagyl is the brand name of a prescription medicine called metronidazole. This medication is an antibiotic prescribed to fight bacterial infections of the vagina, skin, joints, respiratory tract and stomach. It’s not used to treat vaginal yeast infections.
Before you take Flagyl, you’re instructed to speak with your doctor if you have any drug allergies, are pregnant, have a liver disease or have stomach diseases like Crohn’s. You should also tell your doctor if you have a disorder of the blood cells like a lack of red or white blood cells, epilepsy or a nerve disorder.
When someone is prescribed this medicine, they’re instructed to take it exactly as it reads on the label and take it for the full period of time they’re prescribed it without missing doses. During the time a person is taking Flagyl, their physician may order regular blood and liver function tests to make sure negative side effects don’t occur. It is also common for Flagyl to be prescribed along with other antibiotics.
Some of the possible side effects not related to mixing alcohol and Flagyl, but just using this medicine on its own include:
- Stomach pain
- Coordination problems
- Dry mouth or a metallic taste
- Coughing, sneezing or runny nose
- Swollen or sore tongue
These are considered some of the less severe possible side effects. More severe side effects of Flagyl may include:
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
- White patches or sores inside the mouth or on the lips
- Painful urination
- Watery or bloody diarrhea
- Vision problems
- Concentration problems
- Changes in mood
- Muscle twitching
- Convulsions or seizures
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe skin reactions
Along with possible interactions between mixing alcohol and Flagyl, other interactions are possible with this medicine as well. For example, before taking Flagyl, you should let your physician know if you take Tagamet, seizure medicines, a blood thinner, lithium or Antabuse.
If you’re wondering is it safe to take metronidazole after drinking alcohol, it’s important to know the possible side effects. One of the most common side effects of mixing alcohol and Flagyl is flushing of the face, but many others are possible as well.
Some of the symptoms of mixing alcohol and Flagyl can include cramps, abdominal pain, headaches, nausea and vomiting. This doesn’t mean that you’re mixing alcohol and Flagyl even at the same time. These symptoms can occur even if you wait several days after taking the medication before drinking.
Some of the even more severe side effects of mixing alcohol and Flagyl can include a drop in blood pressure, liver damage and a rapid heart rate.
Even having a small amount of alcohol while on Flagyl can make some people very sick, and they experience not only nausea and vomiting but also the feeling of shortness of breath.
Some people who have mixed alcohol and Flagyl describe it much like taking Antabuse. Antabuse is a drug that makes you highly sensitive to the side effects of alcohol. It is sometimes given to those dealing with alcohol use disorder to help them stop drinking because they get sick if they drink even a small amount.
For some people, the side effects of mixing alcohol and Flagyl can be so severe that warnings with the medicine include not only actual alcoholic beverages but even things like mouthwash and cold medicine that have alcohol.
So what is it that mixing alcohol and Flagyl can lead to serious side effects? There was initially the belief that mixing alcohol and Flagyl was problematic because of how the drug is broken down in the liver, but now there is the belief that it may have something to do with increased serotonin levels in the brain.
So is it safe to take metronidazole after drinking alcohol? In short, no. In fact, there is such a potential for side effects that it’s recommended that you wait at least three days after your final dose of the medicine before drinking alcohol.
The liver eliminates metronidazole from the body, so if you have impaired liver function because of alcoholism or any other reason, you should let your doctor know.
Another common question asked about mixing alcohol and Flagyl is whether or not drinking while on the antibiotic would make it ineffective. There’s a myth that alcohol renders antibiotics ineffective, and this isn’t the case. Instead, drinking while you require an antibiotic could mean that you’re further weakening your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the bacteria.
The primary risks with mixing alcohol and Flagyl aren’t related to how the antibiotic would work, but are instead related to the severe side effects that are possible, and the sensitivity to alcohol this medicine creates in people who take it.
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