Flagyl is a medicine with a broad range of uses. Doctors indicate it for the treatment of various bacterial infections, including Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). As an antibiotic, it works by obstructing the growth of bacteria in the body, and helping the immune system to combat the infection.
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Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes upset. This can lead to one type of bacteria, which might usually be kept under control by other friendly bacteria, becoming too prominent, and causing infection. The condition is characterised by a strong-smelling discharge, which may be an off-white colour.
Although those who have sex a lot may be at increased risk, Bacterial Vaginosis isn’t strictly an STI, as it can be caused by various factors outside of sexual intercourse. These include douching with certain types of shampoo, or the insertion of unsterilised intrauterine devices, such as contraceptive diaphragms, into the vagina.
Antibiotics such as Flagyl may be issued by doctors for infections of this type. The active agent in the drug, metronidazole, functions by disrupting the generation of self-sustaining chemicals which the bacterial cells need to stabilise themselves and reproduce. Once they are no longer able to increase their number, they become an easy target for antibodies which see the infection off.
Metronidazole is the main constituent in Flagyl. It works by restricting the growth of the bacteria which are responsible for symptoms. To increase in number, bacteria need to develop chemicals which facilitate their structure and reproduction. Without these chemicals, the bacteria cannot survive.
This medication works by hindering the production and action of these chemicals. By doing this, Metronidazole halts the advance of the infection. Then, the body’s natural defences attack what remains, and the infection disappears.
Please note that we do not offer this medication through our site. If you think you may have bacterial vaginosis, we recommend you see your GP.
Always follow the directions issued by your prescriber when using Flagyl, and adhere to the safety instructions provided in the patient information leaflet. Doing so will help to maximise its effectiveness and reduce the risk of adverse effects.
- Take the tablets as directed by your doctor.
- For bacterial infections in adults, this might be an initial dose of 800mg (2 x 400mg or 4 x 200mg tablets), followed by a 400mg dose (1 x 400mg or 2 x 200mg) taken at 8-hourly intervals.
- Complete the course as prescribed.
- Take the tablets with water and swallow them whole.
- Take Flagyl with or after food.
- Never exceed the prescribed amount.
- If you miss a dose, don’t double up on your next one. Simply continue the course as normal.
The directions supplied here are only intended as a guide. You should always follow the specific instructions your doctor or pharmacist provides you with.
Only a minority of people using this medicine will experience side effects. Despite this, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects Flagyl might cause, so that you can seek medical attention in the event that they occur.
Loss of coordination, diarrhoea, allergic reaction, nausea and vomiting, confusion, liver problems, ulcers, bruising, bleeding gums, drowsiness, stomach pain, fits, hallucinations, sight problems, skin rash, headache, change in urinary consistency, numbness, tingling, pain, or muscular weakness.
If you experience these or any other side effects, speak to your doctor or nearest healthcare professional right away.
Taking it with other medicines
Certain medications may limit the effectiveness of Flagyl, or make it more likely to cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you taking any other treatments during consultation.
This product may interact with: treatments for epilepsy including phenytoin, primidone or phenobarbitone; anticoagulants; 5 fluorouracil, busulfan; ciclosporin; and lithium.
Conditions to look out for
Some conditions may inhibit your ability to use this medication. Let your prescriber know if you have ever suffered from liver problems, kidney dialysis, diseases of the nervous system or any other conditions.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Flagyl is not to be used during pregnancy unless considered absolutely essential by your doctor. It is also not recommended during breastfeeding. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby, talk to your doctor before taking this medication.
Driving and using machinery
Do not drive or try to operate machinery if you become dizzy or experience any side effects which could hinder your concentration while using this medication.
Food, drink and alcohol
You must not drink alcohol while you are taking Flagyl or within 48 hours after completing the course. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects.
If you are taking Flagyl for more than 10 days, you may need to have tests with your doctor.
Can I still drink alcohol?
No. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects when using Flagyl. Avoid consuming alcohol while using this treatment and for at least 48 hours after completing the course.
Will I still be able to drive?
Your capacity to drive should not be affected. However, if you notice any side effects which could make driving unsafe or difficult, you should not drive and speak to your doctor immediately.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
You should only take Flagyl while pregnant or breastfeeding if your doctor thinks it is absolutely necessary.
How should I store it?
Always store your medicines below 30°C unless otherwise specified, and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Do not use Flagyl if you are allergic to any of the following ingredients: metronidazole, calcium hydrogen phosphate (E341), starch maize, povidone K30 (E1201) and magnesium stearate, pharmacoat 615 (E464), and macrogol 400.
Is it available over-the-counter?
No. You cannot buy Flagyl without a prescription from a healthcare professional.
Is it right for me?
If you are experiencing symptoms of bacterial symptoms, see your GP or visit your local GUM clinic. They will be able to assess your symptoms and issue medication where required.
Please note that we do not sell Flagyl through our site.
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