METRONIDAZOLE (sometimes called Flagyl)

Main uses in hair loss: lichen planopilaris (not commonly used)

Other names: Flagyl

What is Metronidazole?

  • Metronidazole is an antibiotic. 
  • It can also help to reduce inflammation and that’s why it’s used in some types of scarring hair loss conditions (such as lichen planopilaris)

How is Metronidazole prescribed?

  • Your doctor will tell you how much and how often to take this medication
  • The drug may have a metallic taste

Can I use Metronidazole with other treatments? 

  • Do not take metronidazole if you take anticoagulants, lithium or phenytoin or disulfuram
  • Do not use cimetidine
  • Do not use alcohol with Metronidazole as the combination will make you feel unwell. Alcohol may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, sweating, and flushing (redness of the face). You need to avoid alcohol for three days after using metronidazole.

Who should not use Metronidazole?

  • You need to let your doctor know if you take any medications. He or she can then tell you if Metronidazole is unsafe.
  • You shouldn’t use Metronidazole if you are were allergic to it in the past
  • You shouldn’t use it if you can’t stop alcohol
  • Don’t take Metronidazole if you have blood, kidney or liver disease or Crohn’s disease
  • All women should tell their doctors if they plan to become pregnant soon.
  • Don’t use metronidazole if you have any nervous system problems or diseases

What side effects are possible with Metronidazole?

  • Metronidazole makes you more sensitive to the sun
  • Metronidazole makes you sick if you take it with alcohol

Other side effects include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nausea (12 %)
  • upset stomach
  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth; sharp, unpleasant metallic taste
  • dark or reddish-brown urine
  • furry tongue; mouth or tongue irritation
  • numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • seizures
  • rare lowering of white blood cell count (reversible)

What side effects should prompt me to STOP Metronidazole and get medical attention ?

  • Stop if you have any symptom whatsoever that makes you not feel well
  • Stop if you get numbness of tingling in any area
  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) should prompt you to stop and seek immediate medical attention

Stop and get medical attention if you develop:

  • fever
  • chills, or persistent sore throat
  • discomfort
  • joint pain or swelling
  • loss of appetite; mental or mood changes; nausea or vomiting; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; red, swollen, or blistered skin
  • severe stomach pain; unusual bruising or bleeding
  • vision changes; wheezing; yellowing of eyes or skin, joint pain, itching, runny nose.

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