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Metronidazole is a prescription drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria or other parasites in different parts of your body. It works by destroying the germs that cause infection. The drug is available in several forms:

  • immediate-release oral tablets and capsules
  • extended-release oral tablets
  • topical creams, gels, and lotions
  • vaginal gels

The different forms of metronidazole have different side effects. Read on to learn about the common and serious side effects that can occur with each form of metronidazole.

More common side effects

The most common side effects that can occur while taking metronidazole tablets or capsules include:

  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • cramps in your abdomen
  • constipation
  • metallic taste in your mouth
  • yeast infection
  • vaginal discharge

Metronidazole for Dogs and Cats

Metronidazole is given to dogs and cats to treat conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, certain infections, and periodontal disease.

You will need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase this drug for your pet.


Metronidazole is formulated to help treat susceptible anaerobic bacterial infections, protozoa and other inflammatory conditions in the GI tract. This medication may also help resolve bacterial infections found in the mouth.

Metronidazole Dosage

Metronidazole comes as a tablet and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth.

Your dose will depend on your medical condition and your response to treatment.

Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully when taking this medicine. Don't take more or less metronidazole than is recommended.

Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.

The tablets can be taken with food or a glass of milk to prevent upset stomach.

You should take the extended-release tablet on an empty stomach at least one hour before, or two hours after, a meal.

Don't crush, chew, or break the extended-release tablets. Swallow them whole.


This medication should not be given to pets who are pregnant or lactating. Pets who are debilitated or who suffer from liver disease should take Metronidazole with extreme caution.

This drug is FDA-approved for human use. However, it is common practice for veterinarians to prescribe such drugs for use in dogs and cats