While I'm confident Flagyl is working I have suffered some severe side effects, one of which is unlisted. I believe it is working because my abdominal pain has significantly decreased since being diagnosed with diverticulitis about 1 week ago. I am also taking Cipro. The reported side effect of having a metallic taste is very understated! Not only do I have an AWFUL paint/chemical taste constantly in my mouth, but my sense of smell is on overdrive! This has contributed significantly to my loss of appetite, nausea, and in many cases my inability to function. I threw away my sheets because I couldn't sleep; I carry around room deodorizer with me because whenever I walk into a room I gag due to the smells - that are only overwhelming to me.
Has anyone had an overactive sense of smell while taking Flagyl?
Question posted by mackyd on 21 Oct 2011
Last updated on 1 November 2022 by BobbieLS
Oh my gosh am I glad I found this. I have been on Flagyl for the first time due to diverticulitis diagnosis in the ER about a week ago. I have been getting an absolutely disgusting taste in my mouth which I WISH was metallic or chemically…it’s the strong taste of saltines. And when I wake up in the morning it’s so strong it turns my stomach. If I take tums or suck on a mint it turns to a more palatable chemical taste. But I think the worst side effect is the smell thing, I have been trying to think how to tell my husband without hurting his feelings that his breath is suddenly putrid. Like a cross between a rotten tooth and a bucket of ammonia! then I noticed that I smell that smell a lot lately it’s just strongest coming from him. But last night I thought my dish soap smelled like it too. We also ate spaghetti for dinner last night and I could hardly taste it at all. I just caught a little tomato tang on the back of my tongue but nothing else.
Yet I could taste my Ovaltine. My husband also had to have a colonoscopy yesterday and kept using the spray in the bathroom due to the prep you have to do of course, and the smell of that spray was absolutely nauseatingly sweet and perfumy and I swear I could smell it on him all day long, mingled with that wretched breath! I’m so glad to know this is all just a side effect of the medicine. Since others say it resolved after coming off the antibiotics I’m going to hope that’s true for me. I just wish I knew what I’m smelling, if it were all me I’d smell it on everything but I don’t. So I do think it’s a heightened sense of smell for something particular.
I’m so glad I’m not the only one. Years ago I took Flagyl whenever I would have a Chrons’ disease flare. I remember feeling so sickened by the overly heightened sense of smell. For me it was mainly the smell of people’s breath. Not everyone. Just specific coworkers. It was a putrid smell. A sick smell. Also, my lipstick! Every time I put it on I would gag. It smelled like fat. A sour, rotten, fatty smell. I told my doc but she had never heard anyone complain of this side effect. I will never take Flagyl again. I take Xifaxan now for IBD flares.
Yes. Currently on IV metronidazole (Flagyl) and definitely have both an awful taste in my mouth (worse a couple of hours after a dose then subsides a bit) and a very enhanced sense of smell. The smell of certain foods has made me dry retch and closing the tight seal back on it wasn’t enough- I had to put it out of the room and could still smell it for ages. Both definitely contribute to nausea. I’m having to have ondansetron before each dose as otherwise I vomit which can also cause a bad taste. Tried to go to the hospital foyer/outside for some fresh air and there were so many stinky things - coffee, cigarettes, cars. Was overwhelming and did not help the nausea I went outside to try and help. Moving my dosing further from the next meal time helped- having it today immediately after breakfast in the hopes that I can actually eat lunch today. I’ve got something less smelly ordered as well so fingers crossed I can eat it.
I find having something like a lolly to suck on or chewing gum helps the taste - unfortunately comes back afterwards but is at least a reprieve for a period. Also brushing your teeth several times a day helps as no lingering food to make it worse (don’t use mouth wash though if it has alcohol as that may make you feel worse!).
I am also so glad others have commented on this. I’m wondering if anyone can speak to this problem having resolved for them??
I have definitely noticed the bad smell thing. I started noticing a damp, mildew type of smell soon after starting flagyl. It's as if someone left a huge pile of wet laundry to just sit in a basket for several days with a just a hint of raw sewage. I noticed it everywhere, like it was following me and it was actually what brought me to this site.
Like many other commenters I am also taking Cipro for a diverticulitis flare up. This is terrible but I will 100 percent take it over the 10 out of 10 stabbing side pains I was having with the flare up. Oh and I feel physically hungry but the sight and thought of actually eating food makes me feel ill. If that makes sense. A few days ago the only thing I could stomach was instant ramen noodles (I know terrible for you). I made a pack but the smell of it has lingered this whole time. I have 4 more days of this, including today. I can't wait to be done and move on with my life!
I took Metronidazole for an infection and it's been 2 weeks since I stopped it, and my sense of taste and smell is still different. Garlic smells disgusting to me now, and even with foods like bacon, eggs and a few others, it's not the same. But I don't know if it's just temporary, or will it continue on for the next month or so
I was prescribed Flagyl and Cipro in October 2019 for Diverticulitis. After three days I stopped taking it because of the terrible side effects. My abdominal pain wasn’t getting better and the metallic taste was unbearable. I experienced this when I was on chemotherapy in 2002 and it was triggering for me. I had to insist to the doctor to change me to Augmentin. Since this, I have very little sense of smell but some odors are horrific to me and not normal. Strong smells like Coffee, cooking meats, feces all have the same rotten smell that I cannot even describe as something familiar. Anything that has a perfume to it is sweet and putrid. My GI doctor did nothing when I told him this. I went to an ENT and had an MRI... nothing. He said some people just lose their sense of smell but there was nothing he could do. It may or may not come back. I’m so frustrated that I have to spend the rest of my life like this.
None that of the Doctors will address the fact that this happened after taking these meds. I’m wondering if there is anyone else that continues to have the bad odor issue even months after stopping the medication.
I was so happy to find this. I just yesterday finished my 10 day course of Flagyl and Cipro for my 2nd bout of diverticulitis. About 4 or 5 days into it, like flipping a switch, so much in my house smelled terrible. The same smell. And my nose almost - no did, burned. So I asked my husband and we went around, sorta super cleaning. Sure, we found stuff that could use some spring cleaning but I couldn't shake it. The last straw was when I opened a new bottle of sealed OTC meds and the cotton smelled like it to my nose. I got online, and searched for Flagyl Sense of Smell. I hope if goes away asap. I was inches from tossing most of my ebay inventory, which all - magically and tragically - smelled terrible! And I sell very nice gently used and vintage clothing! OMG!
Thank god I found this post I thought I was going mad. I just finished a course of Flagyl for a gum infection and I have this strange overactive sense of smell I can smell like a chemical type smell a lot too. I actually thought it was just from my daughter at first (which had me concerned) then I realised I am getting these odd smells or very strong smells everywhere. I took my last tablet on Friday this is Sunday any idea when this will go away?
I have been on Flagyl for 3 days for a new dental infection, including several IV doses in the hospital emergency room. I am NOT taking Cipro, but am also taking Augmentin after 3 initial doses of Unisyn synthetic penicillin. Everything smells indescribably funky; sometimes I just smell it when there is nothing else to smell, as if my nose itself has an odor... or my sweat, or my skin smells. Other people assure me that I don't smell. The pancakes my wife just cooked smell like it. I threw off my bedclothes the other night because I thought they smelled bad, but I still smelled it. I also have experienced the enhanced sense of smell that some have described. I can smell a glass of red wine from 10 feet away! It seems to me that the Flagyl must be affecting the smell receptors in my nose or possibly my brain's interpretation of the input from those receptors. Most of the taste sensations we experience beyond things like sweet/sour, bitter, salty and several others actually come from our noses.
I was recently prescribed the same 2 drugs and have had exactly the same experience. I was due to take a 10 day course but have given up after 3 days because the side effects of the drugs are worse than the illness itself! I would describe the smell as mould combined with very old over ripe French Brie cheese. I notice it in so many places and on some people and often it makes me wretch. The taste in my mouth is disgusting but worse is the constant thirst caused by the treacle like texture of the saliva. I stopped taking the drugs 2 days ago after only 3 days. I hope the side effects will go soon!
I'm so glad I googled this topic. I'm on Flagyl/Cipro for DV and the smells are going to do me in over and above the DV! First I thought it was my cat, then the other human in the house, then the dog and then my coworkers. Everything and everyone stinks. It's like a super man sense of smell and it's not pleasant! Five more days of pills and I hope this resolves! Also zero appetite which I'll take as I needed to shed a few lbs.
I am SO happy to see these posts! It's the first time I've ever taken Flagyl; like the posts above I'm taking it with Cipro for diverticulitis. I am driving everyone crazy around me as I walk into a place and say "what's that smell"? I feel like I've got a dog's sense of smell, but only for the bad things. And I have a metallic taste in my mouth. At least now I know why. Thank you everyone!
I was prescribed flagyl and levaquin for my diverticulitis, rather than flagyl and cipro. I took extra probiotics (FloraJen3) while taking the 2 very strong antibiotics, to keep the good flora from being overtaken by the bad bacteria when the antibiotics were killing off all the bacteria, good and bad (that's what antibiotics do). So you have to replenish the good bacteria. I didn't get the "funky smell" thing. But I didn't take cipro, either. Who knows??
Yes I had same issue while taking cipro & flagyl, and for months after. I kept smelling a nasty stinky garlicy beef dog food poop odor. Even right after a shower. Wasn't sure if it was me, my own breath or my body odor. I kept checking to see if I sharted my shorts. My wife said she didn't smell it. It took months to go away.
I still don't know what it really was.
Some online posts , people speculate on causes. Some include imbalances of intestinal flora, even Candida (yeast) overgrowth.
- Flagyl uses and safety info
- Flagyl information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Flagyl (detailed)
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.