Metronidazole Tablet: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions & More



Metronidazole is an antibiotic used for treating different kinds of bacterial infections. Various infections occurring in the brain, respiratory tract, heart, skin, liver, joints, stomach, intestines, and vagina can be treated with Metronidazole.

The medicine belongs to a class of antibiotics known as nitroimidazoles and helps in suppressing the growth and spread of bacterial infections. Metronidazole is available only if prescribed by a registered medical doctor.

What are the uses of Metronidazole?

Metronidazole can stop the spread of several bacterial infections. It is not used to treat infections like viral or parasitic infections. If metronidazole is used where it is not required, it may increase the chances of harmful reactions. Metronidazole tablet uses are in treating a variety of infections, including

  • Bacterial infections in the liver, stomach, lungs, heart, and bloodstream

  • Mouth infections, for example, inflamed and infected gums, dental abscesses, inflamed, etc.

  • Skin infections such as skin ulcers, wounds, rosacea, skin ulcers, and sores

  • Bacterial vaginosis and trichomonas vaginal infections are common.

  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases, for example, PID, occur when infection-carrying bacteria travel from the vagina or cervix to a woman’s reproductive organs.

How and when to take Metronidazole?

Metronidazole is available in oral tablets, creams and ointments, gels for topical application, and an injectable form used in hospitals.

Metronidazole tablets are taken once a day or they are split into two doses per day for up to 10 days. The extended-release tablets can be taken at least once a day, and it is advised to take them before 1 hour or after 2 hours of a meal. Take the medicines as prescribed to you by the doctor.

Tablets should be swallowed fully without breaking or crushing them. Drink enough water while swallowing a tablet. The medicine needs to be taken to complete the full dosage as prescribed, despite the patient feeling better.

What Are the side effects of Metronidazole?

Common Side effects of Metronidazole are:
  • Dry mouth

  • Headache

  • Mouth or tongue irritation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Stomach cramps

  • Diarrhoea

  • Stomach problem

  • Constipation

The serious side effects of Metronidazole are:
  • Hives

  • Numbness

  • Dizziness

  • Flushing

  • Difficulty in speaking

  • Rash

  • Joint Pain

  • Agitation

  • Seizures

  • Peeling

If any serious symptoms or experience any side-effect, contact your doctor right away. 

Metronidazole is a well-accepted medicine and, mostly, there are no side effects seen in the majority of people. Your doctor will only prescribe this medicine when the benefits outweigh its side effects.

What precautions should be taken while taking metronidazole?

You need to discuss your allergic tendency to the medicines, if any, with your doctor. Tell your doctor about the medicines that you are already taking, including vitamins, herbal products, nutritional supplements, etc., to avoid complications due to cross-medications that might result in a medical emergency. You need to talk to your doctor, especially if you have any liver or kidney-related ailments.

It is better to avoid the consumption of alcohol and any tobacco products if you are taking Metronidazole tablets. Consuming alcohol can cause some serious reactions. It is advisable to take Metronidazole tablets after meals to avoid nausea and vomiting. Similarly, drink enough water to avoid dehydration. If diarrhoea or vomiting persists for more than a day, then you should see your doctor and avoid medical emergencies.

What if I miss a dose of metronidazole?

If you have missed the dose, then take it as soon as you remember it. If the time for the next dose has arrived, then skip the previous dose. Do not take it.

Don’t take two doses at the same time. It can lead to an imbalance in the body. If you keep on forgetting doses, then it's best to set a reminder or an alarm so that the notification pings when it’s time for you to take the medicine. Carry the medicine wherever you go so that you don’t miss it.

If a dose or two of Metronidazole is missed, it will not affect most individuals, but the medicine might not work properly. Missing a dose, in some cases, might cause sudden reactions as well. To continue its effect, it is best to take it without missing a dose. 

What if there is an overdose of metronidazole?

Any accidental overdose of metronidazole creates an adverse impact on the body’s functions. It might even cause a medical emergency. Hence, you should consult the doctor in case you overdose on Metronidazole.

What are the storage conditions for metronidazole?

The medicine should not come into contact with direct heat, light, or air as it may damage the medicine. Keep the medicine in a dry place. Store it at a temperature between 20C and 25C (68F to 77F). Also, metronidazole must be kept in a way that is out of children’s reach. Carry your medications while traveling to avoid emergencies.

Can I take metronidazole with other medications?

Several medicines might interact with Metronidazole. The doctor will either adjust the dose before prescribing Metronidazole with any other medicine. A few of them are

  • Lapatinib

  • Alfuzosin,

  • Felbamate

  • Doxepin

  • Buprenorphine

  • Crizotinib 

  • Itraconazole

  • Norfloxacin

  • Pipampereone

  • Quinine

  • Sotalol

  • Vilanterol

  • Warfarin

How Quickly Will the metronidazole Show Results?

The medicine shows its effects a few days after you start taking it orally. The symptoms will start subsiding, but it can take one or two weeks for them to completely disappear. It will take a few weeks to show improvement in your skin. It is important to complete the course, as stopping it in between may result in developing the infection again in the future.

Comparison of Metronidazole with Azithromycin





An antibiotic & Antiprotozoal

A Macrolide antibiotic


It stops the growth and spread of parasites & bacteria.

Used for treating bacterial infections such as Pneumonia & Bronchitis, and also the ears, lungs, sinuses, throat, and reproductive organ infections.

Side Effects



Stomach Cramps

Loss of Appetite.



Tongue Discolouration Indigestion


Metronidazole is a prescribed drug and should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Precautions must be exercised while taking it if you are allergic to other medications, taking other medications, or suffering from certain health conditions. The medicine takes some time to show its effect, but discontinuing it will not be good for your body. Follow the dosages and timings properly.





Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to substitute an advice from a healthcare professional. The information is not intended to cover all the possible uses, side-effects, precautions, and drug interactions. This information is not intended to suggest that using a specific drug is suitable, safe, or efficient for you or anyone else. The absence of any information or warning regarding the drug should not be interpreted as an implicit guarantee from the organisation. We strongly advise you to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the drug and never use the medication without a doctor’s prescription.