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The meaning of «metronidazole»

Metronidazole, marketed under the brand name Flagyl among others, is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication.[5] It is used either alone or with other antibiotics to treat pelvic inflammatory disease, endocarditis, and bacterial vaginosis.[5] It is effective for dracunculiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and amebiasis.[5] It is an option for a first episode of mild-to-moderate Clostridium difficile colitis if vancomycin or fidaxomicin is unavailable.[5][6] Metronidazole is available by mouth, as a cream, and by injection into a vein.[5]

Common side effects include nausea, a metallic taste, loss of appetite, and headaches.[5] Occasionally seizures or allergies to the medication may occur.[5] Some state that metronidazole should not be used in early pregnancy, while others state doses for trichomoniasis are safe.[1] Metronidazole is generally considered compatible with breastfeeding.[1][7]

Metronidazole began to be commercially used in 1960 in France.[8] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.[9] It is available in most areas of the world.[10] In 2018, it was the 119th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 5 million prescriptions.[11][12]

Metronidazole is primarily used to treat: bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (along with other antibacterials like ceftriaxone), pseudomembranous colitis, aspiration pneumonia, rosacea (topical), fungating wounds (topical), intra-abdominal infections, lung abscess, periodontitis, amoebiasis, oral infections, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and infections caused by susceptible anaerobic organisms such as Bacteroides, Fusobacterium, Clostridium, Peptostreptococcus, and Prevotella species.[13] It is also often used to eradicate Helicobacter pylori along with other drugs and to prevent infection in people recovering from surgery.[13]

Metronidazole is bitter and so the liquid suspension contains metronidazole benzoate. This may require hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract and some sources speculate that it may be unsuitable in people with diarrhea or feeding-tubes in the duodenum or jejunum.[14][15]

Drugs of choice for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis include metronidazole and clindamycin. The treatment of choice for bacterial vaginosis in nonpregnant women include metronidazole oral twice daily for seven days, or metronidazole gel intravaginally once daily for five days, or clindamycin intravaginally at bedtime for seven days. For pregnant women, the treatment of choice is metronidazole oral three times a day for seven days. Data does not report routine treatment of male sexual partners.[16]

The 5-nitroimidazole drugs (metronidazole and tinidazole) are the mainstay of treatment for infection with Trichomonas vaginalis. Treatment for both the infected patient and the patient's sexual partner is recommended, even if asymptomatic. Therapy other than 5-nitroimidazole drugs is also an option, but cure rates are much lower.[17]

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