Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat pelvic, abdominal, soft-tissue, gum, and tooth infections and abscesses in the lungs or brain. It is also the preferred drug for certain protozoal infections, such as amebiasis, the intestinal infection giardiasis, the vaginal infection Trichomonas vaginitis, and the bacterial infection bacterial vaginosis. Tinidazole is a related antibiotic used primarily to treat those same protozoal infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Metronidazole works by disrupting the production of genetic material by bacteria. As a result, the bacteria die. Tinidazole works in a similar way.
Metronidazole is usually taken by mouth but can be given intravenously. Tinidazole is taken by mouth.
Metronidazole and tinidazole can interfere with alcohol metabolism and can cause unpleasant side effects similar to those of a hangover including nausea, vomiting, flushing, and headache. Alcohol should be avoided while taking metronidazole or tinidazole and for 3 days after the last dose.
Metronidazole and Tinidazole
(See also Overview of Antibiotics.)