Metronidazole is an antibiotic or not

In various infectious diseases, the doctor may prescribe medication such as Metronidazole or drugs containing metronidazole as the active substance. But it is not known to all patients. So often people who have been assigned this drug, ask “What is the Metronidazole, this antibiotic or not?” Let’s try to understand this issue.

Is Metronidazole an antibiotic

To understand what is Metronidazole (an antibiotic or not), you need to first understand why many do care about this issue.

The fact that some people have had a certain bias to antibiotics. This category of patients, as a rule, is afraid of antibiotics like the plague, and seeks to avoid their use, replace them with more gentle, in their opinion, drugs. And drugs are not considered antibiotics, these people are ready to drink almost packs, not really worrying about complying with the necessary doses and duration of treatment.

In other words, the term “antibiotic”, in relation to any vehicle, causes the patient to treat him seriously. Meanwhile, a serious relationship requires any prescription drug as every drug has its contraindications and side effects. And self-medication in any medicine irrespective of whether the antibiotic medication or not, can lead to unpleasant consequences.

However, to answer the question, “metronidazole is an antibiotic or not,” should be clarified, what does the term “antibiotic”. As is known, caused by microorganisms infections for centuries has claimed the lives of millions of people. In response to this phenomenon by science in the last century we developed a bunch of tools to kill germs.

The concept of antibiotic since its inception has undergone some transformation. Before antibiotics called drugs that have antibacterial activity and which have a purely natural origin. Typically, they were obtained from penicillin fungi. These drugs were considered-a-kind reference, as the other drugs could not compare with them in efficiency. Now the antibiotics called all drugs with antibacterial properties, regardless of their origin. As the most powerful and effective antibacterial drugs are now synthesized artificially, such a division has lost all meaning.

However, not every antibacterial drug belongs to antibiotics. Antibiotic should also meet another condition – he must be active by ingestion or parenteral administration. Antibacterial drugs that act only on the surface of the human body, mucous membranes, open wounds, etc., and do not show their antimicrobial effect by penetration into the systemic circulation, commonly referred to as antiseptics. Although, of course, many antibiotics can act not only after penetration into the systemic circulation, but also at the local level.

Also to antibiotics not always include drugs acting exclusively on fungi, protozoa, multicellular parasites, and viruses.

What category is metronidazole? Let’s take a look at the properties of this drug.

Properties of metronidazole

From the chemical point of view, metronidazole belongs to the group of imidazoles. It is a derivative of the natural antibiotic azomycin synthesized by the bacteria Streptomyces. The mechanism of action of metronidazole is based on blocking the synthesis of certain nucleic acids in the cells of microorganisms, so they die quickly.

The tool shows activity against the following microorganisms:

  • Giardia,
  • Trichomonas,
  • anaerobic bacteria (Gardnerella, Clostridium and others),
  • amoeba.

No effect on aerobic bacteria (facultative and obligate), such as streptococci and staphylococci.

The drug is available in various dosage forms:

  • tablets 250 mg,
  • the solution for parenteral injection (0.5% in vials of 100 ml)
  • vaginal suppositories,
  • creams and gel.

As prescribed the drug can Metronidazole be used to treat the following diseases:

  • Cremonese;
  • Trichomonas vaginitis;
  • giardiasis;
  • extraintestinal amebiasis, including hepatic;
  • intestinal amoebiasis (amoebic dysentery);
  • infections of skin and soft tissues;
  • rosacea;
  • infections of the oral cavity;
  • infections of the joints, bones, Central nervous system;
  • meningitis;
  • protozoan infections;
  • pneumonia;
  • bacterial endocarditis;
  • abscess (brain, lungs, liver);
  • infections of small pelvis;
  • pseudomembranous colitis;
  • sepsis;
  • peritonitis;
  • gastritis or ulcer caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori (usually in combination with amoxicillin);
  • mixed bacterial infections (in combination with drugs acting on aerobic bacteria).

Also doctors prescribe this drug for the prevention of complications after gynecological surgery and abdominal surgery

From this information, you can make a clear conclusion. “Metronidazole is an antibiotic or not,” should be considered resolved. Metronidazole, of course, an antibiotic, because it can act inside the organism and destroy pathogenic bacteria. Although this antibiotic is no typical properties. It has broad spectrum of activity, limited only by anaerobic bacteria. But he exhibits Antiprotozoal activity, and for classical groups of antibiotics is usually not the case. Metronidazole, therefore, it is also Antiprotozoal agent. By the way, and developed the drug initially as an anti-protozoan and its antibacterial properties were discovered by accident.

However, these unusual properties of metronidazole are not limited. Turns out that he has two more applications, not related to the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms. First, it can be used in the treatment of alcoholism. The patient taking metronidazole in moderate doses over time begins to feel an aversion to alcohol and thus can be cured from addiction. In addition, metronidazole is used in the treatment of cancer. He can restore the sensitivity of tumor cells to radiation, so the efficiency of radiation therapy is many times higher.


The drug is evenly distributed in all tissues, crosses the blood-brain and placental barriers. Bactericidal concentration of the substance in the body is accomplished in about an hour.

The period of poluvyvod in a healthy person – 8 hours When alcoholic liver disease period of poluvyvod increased to 18 hours.

Usage instructions

Metronidazole can be used to cure infections in both adults and children. For each type of disease has its own dosage and regimens. In some cases, the dosage is calculated based on the weight of the patient.

When amebiasis the recommended daily dose for adults and children over 10 years of 750-1000 mg for three doses. Children 3-10 years the dose is set based 35-50 mg/kg the Course of treatment – 5-7 days. The drug should be taken only after meals.

Giardiasis in children older than 10 years and adults appoint 500 mg / day, children 6-10 years – 375 mg per day, children 2-5 years – 250 mg per day. The course of treatment – 5-10 days.

Trichomoniasis in women in the form of vaginitis or urethritis the drug is taken either once in an amount of 2 g or for 10 days 1 tablet of 250 mg twice a day. The same treatment applies when Trichomonas urethritis in men. It is also important to note that in the treatment of infections of the urinary organs, the course of the drug should undergo both sexual partner. Otherwise, the treatment will have no effect.

Other anaerobic infections taken 1-1. 5 g per day. Either can be assigned to the drug by intravenous infusion in the amount of 100 ml every 8 hours the Maximum daily dose is 4 year Course of therapy – 1-3 weeks.

After the course of treatment is recommended to pass laboratory tests for infection.

The duration of treatment cream and gel is usually between 3-7 weeks. The drug is usually applied to the skin once a day. The treatment of external forms of the drug is recommended to combine with taking it in.

The duration of the use of vaginal suppositories is usually 10 days. At the time of therapy women are advised to refuse sexual intimacy.

Parenteral use

Intramuscular administration is indicated only in severe diseases, or in cases when a patient for any reason cannot take the pill. The interval between administration should not be less than 8 hours.

Contraindications and side effects

The drug some contraindications. First of all, Smoking the drug that people with liver failure (the drug is metabolized in the liver). Can’t take it, patients with certain blood disorders (leukopenia, including in the anamnesis) and CNS (epilepsy), women during the first trimester of pregnancy and during breastfeeding, children under 3 years. During 2 and 3 trimesters of pregnancy the drug should be taken with caution.

Occasionally you will encounter when taking the drug side effects may include disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, headaches, allergic reactions, a decrease in the number of platelets and leukocytes.

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