The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that in 2009, there were 4.6 million drug-related emergency room visits nationwide. Fifty percent of these visits were due to adverse drug reactions from prescription medication. Twenty-seven percent involved the use of over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements such as vitamins. Whenever you are prescribed a new medication, it's important to speak with your physician about any other prescription or over-the-counter medications or supplements you are taking.
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Metronidazole, often sold under the brand name Flagyl, is a medication frequently prescribed to treat vaginal and gastrointestinal infections. When using the medication, you may notice a metallic taste in your mouth, but this will disappear once you complete the treatment. Metronidazole is not recommended for use by patients with liver disease. You should not take other medications, including vitamin supplements, with metronidazole until you have talked with your doctor or pharmacist about their possible interactions.
Metronidazole will kill the single-celled protozoans Trichomonas vaginalis and Entamoeba histolytica, as well as some bacteria. The Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan causes trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease that infects the vaginal canal of women and the urethra of men. The Entamoeba histolytica protozoan causes amebiasis, an infection of the gastrointestinal tract, and can be transmitted through either the fecal-oral route or sexually. Metronidazole may also be used to treat certain types of bacterial infections.
You should not ingest any alcoholic beverages during your use of metronidazole and for at least one to three days after stopping. Drinking alcohol while taking metronidazole can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, headaches and flushing. Metronidazole can potentiate the effects of some medications, including Coumadin, or warfarin, a blood thinning agent; Propulsid, or cisapride, a medication for gastric reflux; and Myleran, or busulfan, an alkylating agent for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Vitamins and Metronidazole
If you are healthy and eating a variety of nutritious foods, you probably don't need vitamin supplements. But if you don't eat well or are a vegan or vegetarian who eats a limited variety of foods, or if you are pregnant, postmenopausal or have a medical condition that warrants supplementing your diet, you should take vitamin supplements. According to Drugs.com, there are no known adverse reactions to taking vitamins and metronidazole together. But before doing so, it is still wise to fully disclose to your physician the types and amounts of vitamins you are taking.