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Your doctor has prescribed you a medication called metronidazole as part of your treatment following your surgery. This factsheet explains why metronidazole may help you.
If you have any further questions, please contact your own IBD team. Contact details are at the bottom of the leaflet.
What is metronidazole?
Metronidazole is a type of antibiotic.
How do I take metronidazole?
- You have been prescribed metronidazole in tablet form.
- Take with a full glass of water and with or just after food.
- You should take as per the instructions provided by your hospital doctor or pharmacist.
Why have I been prescribed metronidazole?
- The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) provides National Guidelines on the management of Crohn’s Disease.
- The BSG has suggested that taking metronidazole for three months may help stop Crohn’s Disease coming back after surgery.
What are the possible side-effects of metronidazole?
As with all medications, metronidazole may cause some side effects, although not everybody gets them. Please follow the general guide below and instructions from your hospital doctor or pharmacist:
- Do not take metronidazole if you are allergic to it or have had a bad reaction to it in the past.
- Do not drink alcohol whilst taking metronidazole. Drinking alcohol whilst taking metronidazole can cause unpleasant side-effects such as severe nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness and a headache.
- Taking metronidazole for an extended time can cause peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves in the extremities of the body such as the arms, hands, and feet). This can cause feelings of numbness, tingling or pins and needles in the arms, hands, and feet. The majority of people will recover from this after stopping metronidazole but in rare cases this is not reversible, and people continue to have this side effect.
What should I do if I experience side-effects?
- If you have concerns about the side-effects of metronidazole, please contact your own Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) team. Contact details for the different teams are below.
- If you experience numbness, pins and needles or confusion whilst taking metronidazole, stop taking it and contact your own IBD team.
Where to obtain your prescription?
- The hospital will provide you with the full three month prescription of metronidazole. The team will explain your medications to you before you are discharged. If you do not receive your full three month supply on discharge please contact your own IBD team.
If you have any concerns or questions about the medication, please contact your own Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Team.
Answer phone helpline service: please leave a message and we will get back to you.
IBD Team at Royal Sussex County (Brighton) or Princess Royal (Haywards Heath) 01273 664427
IBD Team at Worthing or St Richards (Chichester)
Worthing: Answer phone helpline service: please leave a message and we will get back to you.
Worthing 01903 205111 Ext. 84332
St. Richard’s 01243 831812
- Lamb CA, Kennedy NA, Raine T, et al. British Society of Gastroenterology consensus guidelines on the management of inflammatory bowel disease in adults. BMJ Gut 2019;68:s1-s106.
With thanks to University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.