Metronidazole

medicationWhy has my veterinarian prescribed this medicine?

Metronidazole is a synthetic antibacterial and antiprotozoal agent. It is used to treat infections such as gingivitis, wound infections, and giardiasis. Giardiasis can potentially be transmitted to humans and your veterinarian will give you advice on precautions to take. Your veterinarian may prescribe the medicine for other indications.

In Australia the veterinary preparations available include metronidazole only, or in combination with spiromycin. The following paragraph is unnecessary:

Veterinary preparations containing metronidazole also contain another medication. Your veterinarian may prefer to give your pet the preparation licensed for humans, which contains only metronidazole. Your veterinary surgeon may ask you to sign a consent form so the preparation licensed for humans can be used to treat your pet.

How do I give this medication?

 - Give this medication to your pet as directed by your veterinarian. READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY.

- If using the liquid form of this medication, shake well before measuring the dose and measure the dose with reasonable care.

- Give this medication for as long as prescribed by your veterinarian, even if it appears the pet is feeling better. This will help to ensure the infection is completely cleared up.

- DO NOT give the pet more medicine than directed and DO NOT give the medicine more often than directed.

- Try not to miss giving any doses.

- Metronidazole tablets are extremely bitter. Give whole tablets and do not crush the tablets.

- Wear impervious gloves when applying topical treatment.

What if I miss giving a dose?

Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give the pet two doses at once.

How do I store this medicine?

Keep this medicine out of reach of children. Store this medicine in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Store away from heat and direct sunlight. Do not store this medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink or in damp places. The medicine may break down if exposed to heat or moisture.

Potential side effects

- Your veterinarian may monitor your pet's blood to check liver function. Tell your veterinarian if you think your pet may be pregnant.

- Potential side effects of metronidazole include drowsiness, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea. Contact your veterinarian if these symptoms persist and are troublesome.

- If your pet develops any neurological symptoms (e.g. muscular incoordination, involuntary rapid movement of the eyeball, seizures, head tilt, rigidity and stiffness) contact your veterinarian immediately. 

- Other side effects may occur. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.

Possible drug interactions

- Make sure to tell your veterinarian what other medication you are giving your pet.

- Quite often your veterinarian may prescribe two different medications, and a drug interaction may be anticipated. In this case, your veterinarian may vary the dose and/or monitor your pet more closely.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Yolande Bishop, BVMS, BSc, LLB, MRCVS

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