She has large abnormalities of the dentate nuclei, severe neuropathy in her legs, hallucinations, vertigo, confusion, and a whole lot more... how long will this last?
Oh my. How long was she on it? Its professional curiosity there. What I found on it is that there have only been a small number of cases reported. I know I never saw anyone with it. It says that the brain changes can resolve but it took up to 6 months for the paralysis that this person had, to resolve. Sorry I couldn't find more on it.
Did she have any nervous system disease before hand? If no then there was no way to anticipate before hand that this was to happen. It is a known rare occurrence and flagyl should be discontinued immediately when these symptoms occur. Her dose was not an unusual dose. Normal course of treatment is 7-10 days but some persistent infections need longer treatment and they must have had reason to suspect she needed longer treatment. Most patients with flagyl or metronidazole (the generic name for Flagyl) induced encephalopathy (or MIEP) have favorable outcomes, however some show long term complications. Discontinuing metronidazole is the primary treatment for MIEP. Though most patients recover between 3 and 16 weeks after stopping metronidazole associated with resolution of abnormal MRI findings, irreversible severe neurologic sequelae remain in some cases (so most patients do recover but some still have long term problems).
There is really no way to determine ahead of time who will have this problem when taking Flagyl (or metronidazole) but Drs should be aware it can happen and discontinue therapy if neurological symptoms occur while on the drug. It is unfortunate your poor wife has had to go through so much!
May I ask how long after taking the flagyl she noticed a problem? I also had a cdiff infection while in the hospital for back surgery. I took flagyl for about three weeks and now I wonder if that might be the cause of some of my symptoms. How did the doctors finally figure it out? Was it a primary doctor? I am sorry I don't have any answers for you but this raised a lot of questions for me because your wife sounds a lot like me.
- Flagyl Information for Consumers
- Flagyl Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Flagyl (detailed)
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