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Metronidazole (INN) (pronounced /mɛtrəˈnaɪdəzoʊl/) is a nitroimidazole anti-infective drug used mainly in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible organisms, particularly anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. It is marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Flagyl in the US, while Sanofi-Aventis markets metronidazole globally under the same tradename, Flagyl, and also by various generic manufacturers, who sell it at a cheaper price. Metronidazole is also used as a gel preparation in the treatment of the dermatological conditions such as rosacea (Rozex and MetroGel by Galderma) and fungating tumours (Anabact, Cambridge Healthcare Supplies).
Metronidazole is a prodrug. It is converted in anaerobic organisms by the redox enzyme pyruvate-ferredoxin oxidoreductase. The nitro group of metronidazole is chemically reduced by ferredoxin (or a ferredoxin-linked metabolic process) and the products are responsible for disrupting the DNA helical structure, thus inhibiting nucleic acid synthesis.
Metronidazole is selectively taken up by anaerobic bacteria and sensitive protozoal organisms because of the ability of these organisms to reduce metronidazole to its active form intracellularly.
Systemic metronidazole is indicated for the treatment of:
Prevention of preterm births
Metronidazole has also been used in women to prevent preterm birth associated with bacterial vaginosis, amongst other risk factors including the presence of cervicovaginal fetal fibronectin (fFN). A randomised controlled trial demonstrated that metronidazole was ineffective in preventing preterm delivery in high-risk pregnant women and, conversely, the incidence of preterm delivery was actually higher in women treated with metronidazole.
Lamont has argued that Metronidazole is not the right antibiotic to administer in these circumstances and was often administered too late to be of use. Clindamycin administered early in the second trimester to women who test positive for bacterial vaginosis seems to be more effective.....
Common adverse drug reactions (≥1% of patients) associated with systemic metronidazole therapy include: nausea, diarrhea, and/or metallic taste in the mouth. Intravenous administration is commonly associated with thrombophlebitis. Infrequent adverse effects include: hypersensitivity reactions (rash, itch, flushing, fever), headache, dizziness, vomiting, glossitis, stomatitis, dark urine, and/or paraesthesia.
High doses and/or long-term systemic treatment with metronidazole is associated with the development of black hairy tongue, leukopenia, neutropenia, increased risk of peripheral neuropathy and/or CNS toxicity.
Metronidazole is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a potential human carcinogen. Although some of the testing methods have been questioned, it has been shown to cause cancer in experimental animals. Nevertheless, it appears to have a fairly low potential for cancer risk and under most circumstances the benefits of treatment outweighs the risk.
Common adverse drug reactions associated with topical metronidazole therapy include local redness, dryness, and/or skin irritation; and eye watering (if applied near eyes).
Interaction with alcohol
Consuming ethanol (alcohol) while using metronidazole causes a disulfiram-like reaction with effects that can include nausea, vomiting, flushing of the skin, tachycardia (accelerated heart rate), shortness of breath, and even death. Consumption of alcohol should be avoided by patients during systemic metronidazole therapy and for at least 24 hours after completion of treatment. However, the occurrence of this reaction in the clinical setting has recently been questioned by some authors.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metronidazole". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|