Metronidazole (Flagyl)


Generic Name: metronidazole (me troe NI da zole)
Brand Names: Flagyl, Flagyl 375, Flagyl ER

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used by veterinarians to treat various conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, nonspecific diarrheal disorders, infections caused by Giardia and periodontal disease.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet is allergic to any medications, or if your pet has; liver disease; anemia; epilepsy; or nerve disorders.

Metronidazole is not FDA approved for use in veterinary medicine; however, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to use this medication in dogs and cats.

Antibiotic medications can cause diarrhea, which may be the sign of a new infection. If your pet has diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your veterinarian. Do not use any medication to stop the diarrhea unless your veterinarian tells you to.

Side Affects: Any signs of an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat). Seizures; fever, chills; sores inside the mouth or on the lips; watery or bloody diarrhea. Keep giving Metronidazole and talk to your veterinarian if your pet develops any of these less serious side effects; nausea, diarrhea; dizziness, loss of balance; dry mouth; cough, sneezing, runny nose; swollen tongue.

Adverse Effects/Warnings – Adverse effects reported in dogs include neurologic disorders, lethargy, weakness, neutropenias, hepatotoxicity, hematuria, anorexia, nausea, vomit­ing and diarrhea.
Flagyl – Metronidazole is an antibiotic which is commonly used to treat protozoal infections and anaerobic bacterial infections. It also has anti-inflammatory effects in the bowel. Metronidazole is bactericidal; it kills bacterial microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. It is rapidly absorbed from the GI tract, metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine and the feces. Because metronidazole only has activity against anaerobic bacteria, it is commonly used with other antibiotics when it is used to treat mixed bacterial infections. It is compatible with many other antibiotics including penicillin antibiotics, aminoglycosides, and some cephalosporins.

Dogs and Cats
Metronidazole is used to treat protozoal infections in cats and dogs including Giardia, Entamoeba, Trichomonas, and Balantidium. It is also used to treat anaerobic bacterial infections. Metronidazole has immune modulating activity and may be prescribed to treat inflammatory bowel disease. It may be used to treat colitis caused by other antibiotics, periodontal disease (especially in cats), Clostridium perfringens enterotoxemia, tetanus, diarrhea of undetermined cause, pancreatic insufficiency (with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and complications of severe liver disease. Metronidazole may be used with corticosteroids in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, or gum disease (gingivitis/stomatitis) in cats. Topical metronidazole gel is used in the treatment of skin infections, such as feline chin acne.

Metronidazole is usually tolerated better if given with food and there are a wide variety of flavors and preparations made by compounding pharmacies in order to deal with the problems associated with the bitter taste. Because of the variety of uses for this drug, dose amount, frequency and duration of treatment vary widely.

Most common: clinical signs related to the bad taste, or GI upset.

• Dogs and cats: excessive salivation, gagging, regurgitation, pawing at the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite are the most frequent complaints. Less common or rare side effects include diarrhea, depression, lethargy, weakness, low white blood cell count, liver failure, and blood in the urine, or dark urine due to pigment changes. Neurologic signs may be seen after accidental overdose or, more commonly, with long-term moderate to high-dose therapy as in the treatment of difficult bacterial infections. Signs often begin 7 to 12 days following the start of treatment.

Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication. It is used to treat diarrheal diseases, certain bacterial infections, Giardia infections, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The tablets have a very bitter taste. The dose varies widely based on the condition being treated. Metronidazole can cause birth defects in some species. Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, weakness, blood in the urine, head tilt, disorientation, stumbling, or jaundice (yellowing of the gums, skin, or whites of the eyes) while being treated with metronidazole.


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