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Drug interactions between Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) and metronidazole

Results for the following 2 drugs:
Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) (ethanol)
metronidazole

Interactions between your drugs

Major

metronidazole ↔ ethanol

Applies to:metronidazole and Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) (ethanol)

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

CONTRAINDICATED: Use of alcohol or products containing alcohol during nitroimidazole therapy may result in a disulfiram-like reaction in some patients. There have been a few case reports involving metronidazole, although data overall are not convincing. The presumed mechanism is inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) by metronidazole in a manner similar to disulfiram. Following ingestion of alcohol, inhibition of ALDH results in increased concentrations of acetaldehyde, the accumulation of which can produce an unpleasant physiologic response referred to as the 'disulfiram reaction'. Symptoms include flushing, throbbing in head and neck, throbbing headache, respiratory difficulty, nausea, vomiting, sweating, thirst, chest pain, palpitation, dyspnea, hyperventilation, tachycardia, hypotension, syncope, weakness, vertigo, blurred vision, and confusion. Severe reactions may result in respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, acute congestive heart failure, unconsciousness, convulsions, and death. However, some investigators have questioned the disulfiram-like properties of metronidazole. One study found neither elevations in blood acetaldehyde nor objective or subjective signs of a disulfiram-like reaction to ethanol in six subjects treated with metronidazole (200 mg three times a day for 5 days) compared to six subjects who received placebo.

MANAGEMENT: Because clear evidence is lacking concerning the safety of ethanol use during nitroimidazole therapy, patients should be apprised of the potential for interaction. Consumption of alcoholic beverages and products containing propylene glycol is specifically contraindicated during and for at least 3 days after completion of metronidazole and benznidazole therapy according to their product labeling.

References

  1. Alexander I "Alcohol-antabuse syndrome in patients receiving metronidazole during gynaecological treatment." Br J Clin Pract 39 (1985): 292-3
  2. "Product Information. Flagyl (metronidazole)." Searle, Skokie, IL.
  3. Visapaa JP, Tillonen JS, Kaihovaara PS, Salaspuro MP "Lack of disulfiram-like reaction with metronidazole and ethanol." Ann Pharmacother 36 (2002): 971-4
  4. Giannini AJ, DeFrance DT "Metronidazole and alcohol: potential for combinative abuse." J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 20 (1983): 509-15
  5. Harries DP, Teale KF, Sunderland G "Metronidazole and alcohol: potential problems." Scott Med J 35 (1990): 179-80
  6. Krulewitch CJ "An unexpected adverse drug effect." J Midwifery Womens Health 48 (2003): 67-8
  7. Williams CS, Woodcock KR "Do ethanol and metronidazole interact to produce a disulfiram-like reaction?." Ann Pharmacother 34 (2000): 255-7
  8. "Product Information. Benznidazole (benznidazole)." Everett Laboratories Inc, West Orange, NJ.
  9. Edwards DL, Fink PC, Van Dyke PO "Disulfiram-like reaction associated with intravenous trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and metronidazole." Clin Pharm 5 (1986): 999-1000
View all 9 references

Drug and food interactions

Major

metronidazole food

Applies to: metronidazole

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

CONTRAINDICATED: Use of alcohol or products containing alcohol during nitroimidazole therapy may result in a disulfiram-like reaction in some patients. There have been a few case reports involving metronidazole, although data overall are not convincing. The presumed mechanism is inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) by metronidazole in a manner similar to disulfiram. Following ingestion of alcohol, inhibition of ALDH results in increased concentrations of acetaldehyde, the accumulation of which can produce an unpleasant physiologic response referred to as the 'disulfiram reaction'. Symptoms include flushing, throbbing in head and neck, throbbing headache, respiratory difficulty, nausea, vomiting, sweating, thirst, chest pain, palpitation, dyspnea, hyperventilation, tachycardia, hypotension, syncope, weakness, vertigo, blurred vision, and confusion. Severe reactions may result in respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, acute congestive heart failure, unconsciousness, convulsions, and death. However, some investigators have questioned the disulfiram-like properties of metronidazole. One study found neither elevations in blood acetaldehyde nor objective or subjective signs of a disulfiram-like reaction to ethanol in six subjects treated with metronidazole (200 mg three times a day for 5 days) compared to six subjects who received placebo.

MANAGEMENT: Because clear evidence is lacking concerning the safety of ethanol use during nitroimidazole therapy, patients should be apprised of the potential for interaction. Consumption of alcoholic beverages and products containing propylene glycol is specifically contraindicated during and for at least 3 days after completion of metronidazole and benznidazole therapy according to their product labeling.

Therapeutic duplication warnings

No therapeutic duplications were found for your selected drugs.

Drug Interaction Classification

The classifications below are a guideline only. The relevance of a particular drug interaction to a specific patient is difficult to determine using this tool alone given the large number of variables that may apply.
Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.
Unknown No information available.

Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your healthcare provider.

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