Metronidazole and Alcohol Harmful Reactions

Metronidazole or Flagyl falls under the class of medicines called Antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually used to treat bacterial infections caused by certain bacteria. Metronidazole is intended for the medication of vaginal, intestinal, and abdominal infections. It works by penetrating the cells of the bacteria and it interferes with the bacteria DNA causing it to die. It also prevents in the formation of the bacteria. Doctors usually suggest this medication for these kinds of bacterial infections.

Flagyl or Metronidazole cures bacterial vaginosis with the right dosage, length and frequency of medication by following the steps religiously without fail. If someone does not follow the proper medication like taking the prescribed dosage, inconsistent medication, spaces between doses, and stopping the drug immediately as soon as the symptom subsides will continually trigger the recurrence of the disease.

Along with Metronidazole positive effects, there are also unwanted effects associated with this medicine. Some of the common side-effects are convulsions, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headache, etc. Although these side effects may not occur at the same time, for any signs of any of these side-effects, it’s advisable to consult a doctor to give proper medical attention.

Metronidazole has an antabuse effect. Antabuse effect means that it has harmful interaction with alcohol. This is a real danger for those who take up Flagyl or Metronidazole who are not aware of this effect. If you drink an alcohol with Metronidazole, it can cause violent nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, headaches, loss of coordination, fainting, and some unnecessary effects. It is important to always remember not to not drink any alcohol during and after medication, maybe 2 to 3 days after taking them especially for higher dosages.

The reason for this effect is that, Metronidazole inhibits or prohibits alcohol dehydrogenase and other alcohol oxidising enzymes. An enzyme is a molecule that acts as a biological catalyst that helps in the fast chemical reaction of a substance. With metronidazole and alcohol mixed together, the alcohol’s enzyme which is dehydrogenase slows down its function which causes a decrease in the rate of oxidation of alcohol into ketones and aldehydes inside the body. Check the food you eat or medicine labels including vitamins to be sure that the products you take in do not contain any alcohol. Better to inform the doctor about the medications you are having.

Oxidation of alcohol in humans comprises of the following steps: First, binding of the coenzyme NAD+, alcohol substrate, and His-51; second, deprotonation of Ser-48 and alcohol; third, hydride transfer of alkoxide ion into NAD+; and lastly, the releasing of aldehyde. These are the chemical processes of eliminating alcohol or conversion of alcohol to aldehyde inside the body. Combining metronidazole and alcohol can slow down this process causing alcohol to stay inside our body for a longer period of time than it should be which causes side effects like nausea and vomiting.

Aside from alcohol, avoid using this medicine if you are allergic to metronidazole itself and to its ingredients, if you have some history of blood disorders, an underactive thyroid and adrenal glands, and active neurological disorder.