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Generic Flagyl

Metronidazole

 

Nature and use of the drug

Flagyl, marketed by Pfizer, is an antibiotic drug used to treat a number of infections brought about by microorganisms such as anaerobic bacteria and the protozoan parasites. An anaerobic bacteria is an organism that does not require oxygen for growth. These bacterial organisms can cause peritonitis in the abdomen, liver abscess and abscess in the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The intestinal parasites treated with this drug includes amoeba, which can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. Another parasite treated is trichomonas, which causes inflammation in the vagina.

How this medicine works

Its generic name is metronidazole. It is a prodrug or a drug that is in inactive form but when it is administered to the patient, it reacts metabolically to the organism. This strategy results in better absorption of the drug by the cells. Metronidazole is transformed inside anaerobic organisms by enzymes and it inhibits the synthesis of the nucleic acid by disrupting the helical structure of the DNA of the microorganism.

Dosage and administration

The drug is available in tablet form, in dosages of 250, 500 and 750 mg. It is available in capsule form, in 375 mg dosage, in cream and gel, both with 0.75 % and 1 % concentration, in lotion, with 0.75 % concentration and in an injection form, with 5 mg of metronidazole for every ml of solution. The drug may be taken in its tablet or capsule form with or without a meal. In serious cases, the drug is injected into the body intravaneously to achieve maximum dosage. Topical forms of the drug can be used to treat infections on the skin such as rosacea and a number of other skin infections.

Medical experts have warned that Flagyl must be used only to treat an infection with proof that it is caused by a specific bacteria. This is because a common bacteria strain that have been mistaken for infection-causing bacteria may become drug-resistant in the long run.

What to expect -- side effects

Though there are side effects observed for the drug during treatment, they only happen to less than one percent of the patients. Common side effects include only diarrhea, nausea and a metallic taste in the mouth. Other side effects present are headache, vomiting, and hypersensitivity reactions of the skin manifested by rashes, itching and accompanied with fever. An intravenous application of the drug can lead to thrombophlebitis or the inflammation of the veins that is usually caused by a blood clot.

Topical ointment forms of the drug results to a number of reactions of the body such as skin irritation that includes redness and dryness of the skin as well as watering of the eyes.

On the other hand, a high dosage of Flagyl can lead to the following side effects; leukopenia or a decrease in the number of specific white blood cells in the body, called leukocytes, that makes it vulnerable for infection. Neutropenia, on the other hand, is the decrease in the number of a specific white blood cells called granulocytes, that also makes the body vulnerable to sickness. There is also the presence of black, hairy tongue during a high dosage or long-term treatment of the Flagyl drug.

Overdose is possible with Flagyl so a patient must be under monitoring when treating with a Flagyl drug. Accidental overdose of the drug can result to wobbiness of the knees, as well as nausea and vomiting. On the other hand, an actual overdose is dangerous since overdosing the drug have a neurotoxic effect.

Precaution to take

There are suspicions about Flagyl being a carcinogen, those free radicals that can cause cancer to humans by mutating genes. In fact, the generic name of the drug, metronidazole, is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer or IARC. Experiments conducted on animals resulted to positive growth of cancer cells but it is still inconclusive in humans.

Alcoholic drinkers that are taking Flagyl drug treatment should refrain from drinking during the treatment period. Clinical studies have shown that potential side effects that include vomiting, nausea and tachycardia or rapid beating of the heart will happen.



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