Metronidazole is the generic name of the more commonly known drug Flagyl. This drug is an antibiotic that is used to fight infections all throughout the body. In particular, it combats infections of the vagina, joints, skin, respiratory system and stomach. It won’t be able to treat every kind of infection, but it does well at treating a number of parasitic and bacterial problems.
This drug should never be combined with alcohol. It can actually create side effects not normally associated with this drug, such as a faster heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, a tingly sensation and a warm feeling underneath your skin. While these may not seem like serious side effects on their own, they can indicate a more serious problem and be the start of something quite severe and even life-threatening. There are more serious side effects as well. You can experience liver damage or high blood pressure while combining this drug with alcohol.
In fact, doctors recommend that you do not consume anything with ethanol in it at all while you are taking Metronidazole. You should be checking the labels on the foods and beverages you consume while taking this drug to ensure that they contain no alcohol and no ethanol. This ensures any cakes, meats and other foods that have alcohol baked into them. The alcoholic content can still be present and still cause you serious health problems.
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After you stop taking Metronidazole, you still cannot consume any alcohol or ethanol right away. You need to give your body at least three days after you stop taking this drug so it can completely remove any trace of its from your system, or at least reduce the amount of the drug in your body to ensure that you have a safe amount for interacting with alcohol.
The most serious potential side effect is the increased heart rate this combination of substances can give you. This can lead to cardiac arrest or other heart problems, and the problem will only be exacerbated if you have a pre-existing cardiac condition or a history of cardiac disease. Any pre-existing health conditions you have can make the problem worse, so you definitely need to be extra careful if you have some sort of health problem while taking this drug.
If you are taking any medication that contains ethanol, you should not stop taking them just because you are taking Metronidazole. Your doctor will give you advice on how to proceed.
Even moderate drinking can be dangerous when combined with this drug. You should always ask your doctor about any level of alcohol you would like to consume before you do so while taking Metronidazole.
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