This article talks about the risks of exposure to flagyl in pregnancy. Each and every pregnancy has a risk of 3% – 5% of ending in a birth with congenital abnormalities. This information won`t replace the recommendations of the doctor.
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What Is Flagyl (Metronidazole)?
Flagyl, more commonly known as metronidazole, is an antibiotic used to treat various types of infections. It`s available as tablets, intravaginal ovules or topical preparations. It`s often used for genital infections, that`s why expecting mothers might require treatment. It`s available on the market for over 40 years.
Effects on Fertility
There`s no research or study to prove that the administration of flagyl can diminish the possibility of a woman to become pregnant.
Also, there`s a study performed over 4.000 pregnant women who took flagyl during the first trimester. It seems that the administration of this drug didn`t increased the risk of miscarriage in these women.
Flagyl in Pregnancy (Effects on the Fetus)
The usage of flagyl has been controversial over the years. Old studies have shown the relation between the administration of this drug and the occurrence of congenital defects. In turn, recent studies have shown that congenital defects aren`t actually produced by this drug. Recent research, performed by thousands of expecting mothers who were exposed to metronidazole in early pregnancy, found no relation between the administration of this medication and the occurrence of congenital abnormalities or other types of side effects. Although there are still some sources that contraindicate the administration of flagyl during the first trimester or during the entire pregnancy, the most recent studies don`t support this.
Topical preparations that contain metronidazole are poorly absorbed and don`t determine a significant blood level. Still, the intravaginal administration of this medication leads to a more increased absorption of the drug. However, once flagyl is surely administered orally, both vaginal and topical ways are considered without risks for the pregnancy.
There`s no evidence to support the idea that using this drug at any moment during pregnancy may have any risk on the fetus. For certain medical conditions, this is the only drug that can be used as treatment and is essential for treating vaginal infections during pregnancy.
In lack of full confidence that Flagyl is completely inoffensive during pregnancy, drug manufacturers doesn`t recommend using this medication during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Before administering metronidazole, talk to the doctor who supervises your pregnancy about it. If you became pregnancy during this treatment, although the risk to affect the baby is very small, you should discuss this subject with your doctor. – More info!
Flagyl during Breastfeeding
Flagyl is excreted in breast milk in large amounts. There were percentages of 20% reported regarding this matter. Still, this dosage is well below the therapeutic level for treating small children, who were able to tolerate this drug without experiencing side effects. Additionally, there was a study performed on 12 women who took metronidazole 3 times per day that didn`t show any side effects on the fetus.
Flagyl & Cancer
Some believe that this drug may cause cancer. It was proven that flagyl produces small changes in genetic material and cancer in animals. However, it wasn`t this proven in people! A study performed on a few hundreds of pregnant women didn`t showed the increase of the incidence of cancer after using this drug.
As all drugs, Flagyl may have to side effects, although they are visible in all persons. Side effects are dependent on the dose and they generally disappear when the drug administration is interrupted.
Rare Side Effects
This type of side effects occurs in 1 out of 10.000 persons:
- Changes of the number of blood cells (thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, neutropenia).
- Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
- A brain condition (manifested by disorientation, fever, paralysis, headache, light intolerance, hallucinations).
- A syndrome of brain lesions (manifested by affecting the coordination of movement, speech, walking, rapid and disrupted movements of the eyes).
- Double vision, gradual decrease of sight in distance.
- Pancreatic inflammation, which is reversible to discontinuation of treatment.
- Changes in liver function tests, liver inflammation.
- Skin eruptions.
Side Effects with Unknown Frequency
This type of side effects cannot be estimated from the available data:
- Allergic reaction that leads to redness followed by face and neck swelling, which might be severe enough to lead to breathing difficulties, urticaria.
- Psychotic disorders, depressive disposition.
- Numbness, tingling, epileptic seizures that pass.
- Stomach pains, nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, tongue inflammation, mouth inflammation, metallic taste, diarrhea, loss of appetite.
- Brownish-red urine.
- Skin eruptions that pass.
If any of these side effects worsen or if you notice a different side effects that wasn`t mentioned here, you should contact your doctor immediately.