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  1. Thank you sooooooo much for posting this!! I felt myself crying as I was reading it because I literally thought I was going crazy. I had an awful reaction to Metronidazole about two months ago and still have been feeling the negative effects and my doctors have kept dismissing me as well. It definitely isn’t as bad as it was at first, but I am still not myself. I want my life back and me back. This drug was terrible. I just keep hoping that one day I will wake up and feel better again!

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    1. Hi, Quela. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wasn’t so great two months out–I had just started back to work full-time a couple of weeks before and was “functioning” but definitely not myself. I would always have a morning fatigue. Every morning, sluggish, unable to concentrate, weak–just overall sicky type of feeling. Then one morning in October, it just wasn’t there. I still get it from time-to-time; if I don’t sleep well or come down with a cold, etc. But it’s definitely better.

      I know this feels a lifetime away, but I’m doing a lot better six months out than I was two months out. Just give it more time. Also, I have shown a lot of doctors that case study “Metronidazole-induced Central Nervous System Toxicity” and am finally being taken seriously. Maybe show it to your doctor (and if they don’t believe you, get another freakin’ doctor). Hugs, Erin

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  2. Thank you for your blog. I took Metronidazole back in November 2015 for a bacterial infection for just 3 or 4 days before having debilitating side effects that I am wondering if I’m not still feeling. I was experiencing peripheral neuropathy and extreme anxiety. I ended up in the ER and the doctors fed me bs that I was having anxiety, “here’s some xanax and keep taking it.” That was a HUGE mistake. I was shaking and sick from this poison in multiple ways. Sometime after taking it, I would lie down at night and notice my heart seemed to be beating oddly. I was also waking up short of breath. Here it is 4 months later and I’ve been diagnosed with PAC’s, or a heart arrhythmia. I had 15 dental fillings done in the past 2 years and NEVER had any problem with a racing heart from the numbing agent until now. I am wondering if this was a side effect of the medicine as well…kind of an odd coincidence. Thankfully the peripheral neuropathy subsided after about a month for the most part, although I do still have some numbness and tingling at times.Thanks for reading and thanks again for your helpful blog. This drug really needs to be off the market!

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    1. Hi, Trista. I’m really sorry that’s happened to you–this drug can cause peripheral neuropathy, although I know less about that issue than the CNS toxicity. Anxiety is one of the most common side effects I’ve heard people complain about; if you plug “metronidazole” into askapatient, it has more reviews than any other drug (look at the generic name and also “Flagyl” and it has over 3,000 reviews). As for the heart issues…my PVCs were going CRAZY this summer. My doctor said my heart was “beating all over the place.” Thankfully that has improved over time; I thought I had always had PVCs, but after seeing your comment, plus other people I’ve talked to, I’m beginning to wonder if the drug has also caused this because my heart never bothered me before. I really hope you’re feeling better–thanks for the comment. –Erin

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    2. Hi Trista!

      I’ve been diagnosed with PAC’s as well two months since taking Flagyl. They’re driving me crazy when they’re bad, I was just wondering how you’re going and if your PAC’s have settled down?

      Thank you,
      Dave

      David

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  3. Hi Erin, My name is Morris 54 years old male from UK. Thank you for your helpful blog and to all the people sharing their experience.
    I took Metronidazole for a dental problem over a period of 3 days from 7 to 10 October. I took 11 pills of 400 mg each x 3 times a day for a total of 4.4 gr
    About five days later from 15 October my nightmare started, with nausea, dizziness, diarrhea unbalance, sleepless nights, neuropatic numbness and pins and needles, on both foot and hands, depression, crying feelings, confused mind etc…. I have been to A&E and three times to my GP they have been unhelpful their advice “Drink Water to eliminate it” I had blood and stool tests and as they are both clear for the doctors there is nothing that they can do for me. I tried to find help with TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine, the practitioner gave me an herbal mix to clear the gut, but I had to stop it after 2 days as it increase my nausea and awful state of mind, maybe I will try acupunture at a later stage if my neuropathy persists. At the moment nearly 40 days and I am still living the worst experience of my life. Some comfort comes from GOOD NEWS on this blog where I understand that there will be defenetly BETTER DAYS !

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  4. Hi Erin, thanks for posting it’s made me feel like i’m not completely crazy!

    I started a 5 day course of Metronidazole last Tuesday for a wisdom tooth infection and things seemed fine at first apart from a bit of an increase in anxiety (I already have anxiety so used to it flaring up every now and then) and a slight numbing in my tongue, felt a bit off throughout the week and took my last dose on Saturday night, started feeling down on Sunday and yesterday I was severely depressed, negative thoughts, rapid heartbeat, loss of appetite and I just haven’t been sleeping right, this is my fourth day off it and things don’t seem much better, it’s very hard to concentrate at work. This isn’t my first time with this type of experience, I was on the contraceptive patch last year and that was the worst decision of my life, was just getting over it and now this happens! I’m not really sure what to do next to be honest, do you think it’s best to see a psychiatrist or should I just ride it out and hope it improves in the next couple of weeks? Trying to remind myself that this is only temporary but it’s very hard when you’re feeling so low. Again thanks for sharing your experience, any advice would be very much appreciated! Abbie

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  5. Hi Erin,
    Like I said before I took this drug for almost three weeks or maybe two and now I’m suffering a lot, sleepless nights, depression, anxiety and weakness that comes with the tingling and the brain falling out of tune.
    Four days after stoping the pills, I started to sleep better (thank god) I just hope it continues like this.
    I still have difficulty eating and staying focused for my two little ones but with god everything is possible.
    Once again thank you Erin cause now I know there is still hope for me and that I’m not alone.

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    1. The fact that you’re sleeping better is a good sign. I know it’s not the best sleep, but better is still an improvement. Everything you’re talking about are clear indicators of having a neurotoxic reaction to this drug. I know that sounds scary, but the brain is really amazing and can re-route itself when there’s a problem. Nerves can heal, but it can take time.

      The “brain feeling out of tune”–I assume you mean the brain fog, where you can’t concentrate on hardly anything. Are you having a pressure-like sensation in your head, like your brain is a bag of popcorn filling your skull? It’s sort of like a headache, but not really. Sometimes, people feel like they’re not connected to their surroundings (I had that–it’s awful). Like I said, psychiatric issues have the best change of recovery, so don’t give up hope!

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      1. Hello,
        I definitely have the brain fog and all the things you are describing in your reply here. I can especially relate to the one you mention where you feel not connected to your surroundings, it’s so scary and maddening! It’s been 6 months for me and no end in sight. Please tell me this went away for you?! I am currently working with a alternative practitioner on rebuilding neurotransmitters in the brain (serotonin, etc) and will be working on liver and gut detox next. I definitely have always had gut issues, which I’ve read have made me suseptical to Flagyl toxicity. It’s almost as if I’m feeling worse now working on healing the whole body, which is scary, but I’m hoping I’m going in the right direction. I know my central nervous system is way out of whack still as I constantly have anxiety and feel like I’m “out of it”. 😞

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    2. Thank you so much for all of your information! I had a terrible reaction much like yours and it’s now been 2 months and still suffering extreme insomnia. I will try your treatment- thank you so much it gives me hope I may return back to myself again at some point 🙂

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      1. Thanks Erin for starting this blog. I feel like my emotional/metal health is ruined. I stopped taking the Metro a week ago and having panic attacks, constant anxiety. I have been taking Atavan which helps a little, and my therapist is prescribing Sertraline. I hope this helps. Sure wish I never tool these horrid pills.

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    1. Some of the side effects went away (pounding heart, asthma, trouble breathing), tiredness, weird weight loss of fluid and muscle, joint pains, swelling of arms, hands, paresthia is decreasing, pain in tendons. Most of the side effects are still there : muscle twitching, dry skin and cracks in skin, anxiety, crying. Some are changing and variable : muscle twitches, insomnia, hypotonia of muscles, bitter taste in mouth fluctuates. When did you start to see an improvement ?

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  6. Some great info here. I too experienced some of the side effects mentioned here (especially the anxiety and depression). Because of my experience with medication (I have an autoimmune disorder), I was able to quickly asses that this medication was causing side effects and stopped after only 4 doses. At this amount, it seems to have taken about 48 hours to leave my system. While I agree there is a definite structural problem regarding medications (some countries worse than others), we have to be carful not to paint all doctors with the same brush (I didn’t feel that from your blog). A lot of doctors take side effects very seriously (even if the system doesn’t allow an effective process for reporting). True, some doctors can have a bad bed side manner and/or an arrogant attitude. But in my experience, which has unfortunately been a lot, most are descent. A bad experience can also be a combination of bad doctor and a bad patient. Thank you for this blog though. It is very informative and very important that more people are made aware of the issues with this medication. Especially, that as patients, we need to take a more active part in reasearching what we are putting in our bodies. We should never rely 100% on our doctors. Sure, they are trained. But they are only human.

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    1. Thank you Aaron for sharing this. It’s true that if we had a negative experience with some doctors that we may be pessimistic or hesitant to see whether another one will believe us or take us seriously. I guess it’s all about trial and error and being persistent until you find somebody who believes you. Also bringing articles from the Internet helps so they see you are serious about this too. I hope things are better for you in terms of symptoms. I took 14 pills of 500 MG each over a span of 7 days. The side effects increased and changed when I stopped the medication and I have had symptoms for two and half months now. I was a diagnosed eventually with Serotonin Syndrome but I still think it’s cerebellar. I looked online and it said the nerves need time to heal. I hope they are right ! I have been feeling super depressed and feel every morning is a flashback to how awful I feel.

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  7. Thank you for posting this!! It is helping me cope and hope that this will go away eventually. I took this for a week ending June 17th. First night I had to urinate constantly then was okay until the last dose. Severe Panic attacks started. I have no history of this. Numbness in legs and hands, heart racing, have to urinate every 15 minutes (no pain and lots of urine), heart racing, bouts of crying and complete brain fog. I had that for 2 days then was okay for a week. Then It comes back. I notice It comes on with extreme lack of sleep. I have a 1 year old who wakes up a lot due to teething.
    My brain can not turn off. It is 2am and I’m having extreme anxiety. I feel so alone. I almost went to ER but when I called the after hours they said I’m just stressed out and to do deep breathing. My gut has issues. It’s so sensitive. I have cut sugars and changed my diet to be healthier. I tried probiotics and that made the panic attacks start ten fold again. I don’t understand any of this.
    The constant urination and aniexty is so draining!!
    I need this to end soon.

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    1. Hi, Renee. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Sadly, psychiatric issues are the most common with metronidazole toxicity (medical literature says otherwise, but I’ve talked to several patients the last 1.5 years, and I’m telling you, it’s psychiatric issues). The anxiety, the crying spells, the brain fog (oh, yes, I remember that one)–I know how awful it is. Psychiatric issues do have the best chance of a full recovery, but don’t be surprised if this “good day/bad day” pattern lingers for a bit. It typically improves over time, but essentially, this is our brains saying that something was injured and now it needs time to heal. I know that’s of little comfort, but most people I know with this do get their lives back together over the course of a few weeks to a few months.

      It is a good idea to replenish your gut flora, but probiotic tablets are a little finicky. I always suggest kefir for people. It’s easier to get down and more stomach-friendly (it’s just a drinkable yogurt–4 to 6 ounces daily. And it tastes good). I’m assuming your appetite is the tank right now–try to be healthy but don’t freak out about eating a little sugar or unhealthy fats if it means you’re getting in necessary calories. I loaded up on Ramon noodles when I was sick and they were a God-send. Also, Boost Nutritional Drinks have a lot of good nutrients.

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  8. Is there anything you can do to alleviate the side effects? Im am going to try an anti-depressant. I’m very heathy and fit and don’t like drugs. Hopefully I can heal from this quickly. But the anxiety and mind/mood effects are so debilitating.

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    1. Hi, Randy. I am sorry you’re going through this. An antidepressant might help–mirtazapine helped my insomnia and took the edge off of my anxiety and depression. The biggest healer will probably be time. Some people get better rather quickly–a few days or weeks–and some take longer. It has an odd “good day/bad day” pattern, where it starts to feel better and then comes back. Psychiatric issues do show the best chance of making a full recovery, although there’s never a guarantee.

      In the meantime, I’d suggest trying to replenish your lost gut flora (kefir is great for this), be careful of Ativan (your body builds up a tolerance to benzo’s very fast, so 2 weeks tops on that one) and take the antidepressant if you feel you need it but I’d suggest starting on the lowest dose possible (it’ll be easier to get off of later). Pretty much, right now your central nervous system is overstimulated and needs to calm down. It’s been injured and this is the way the brain reacts when it’s injured. It needs time to heal now. Hopefully, it won’t take long. I wish you the best and hope you feel better fast.

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      1. Thanks. I also have warm, tingling in my feet constantly. Hopefully that will go away. The tough part is that my family thinks that this is crazy since I have suffered from anxiety before. They don’t want to hear about it and so I am going to a psychiatrist who seems dubious as well. But I’ve never had anxiety like this. This is off the charts and uncontrollable even with exercise. Do you think taking an SSRI will impede my recovery. I just started Zoloft because the shrink thinks I’m obsessing about this. Eating lots of probiotics.

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      2. Hi, Randy. I didn’t experience peripheral neuropathy myself (that’s the tingling, warm sensation in your extremities), but I know a lot of other people who have. It’s caused by nerve damage and nerves take some time to heal, so this might be a process. I’ve heard of some people having a full recovery from the neuropathy within a few months, and some who improve but after over a year, they still have it. It’s a bit unpredictable–sorry.

        Your family is not being very supportive. It’s one thing to not have doctors believe you (I’ve been there), but not to have your family believe you can be even worse. Let me make this clear–the most common symptoms of metronidazole toxicity are psychiatric. You don’t have to take my word for it–go to http://www.askapatient.com, and look up “metronidazole.” It is THE MOST REVIEWED DRUG ON THE WEBSITE. I’ve crunched the numbers myself, and there are more people complaining about anxiety and depression due to this drug than even antidepressants, anti-psychotics and other types of drugs. It also has one of the highest 1-star ratings on there.

        Your family is wrong–I’m sorry to say that, but they are. I don’t care what your past medical history is–you are expressing clear signs of this toxicity. We have a support group on Facebook, but just bear in mind, people who recovery completely (and most people do eventually) don’t need a support group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1234759023201741. Don’t forget to answer the prompt question when you request to join. I wish you luck.

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  9. I’m having weird nerve tingling in my arm and leg. What are people’s experience with this going away?
    Also hot, tingly feet and lots of anxiety, depression. Can the neuropathy symptoms get worse even after you’re off the drug? It’s almost two weeks since I finished. What’s the general time frame I might expect to see improvement. I guess it varies. Anything other than probiotics to help, Accupuncture?

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  10. Hi Erin. Seems to me like the only adverse reaction I had from 4 days of metro was a the head pressure + back of the head pain, and brain zaps or tingling. I also feel some tingling in my extremities. Did you feel any of these reactions? I’ve been having this head pressure non stop, 24/7 for 4 months now.

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    1. These are common problems–I can certainly relate to many of the issues you’re describing. The tingling in the extremities is classic peripheral neuropathy–this is due to damaged nerves and unfortunately, this might take some time to heal. Nerves regenerate quite slowly, but they do eventually start to heal. As for the head pressure and brain zaps–this could also be due to damaged nerves as well or damaged brain cells. The back of the neck is where the cranial nerves connect from the brain stem to the spinal cord and, unfortunately, the brain stem and surrounding areas can get damaged from metronidazole. That being said, I had the brain zaps and head pressure, and both subsided over time. The brain zaps resolved completely and the head pressure improved slowly, to the point where it only rarely flares up now. I still have neck pain, however, but it’s usually minimal. Other people have a full resolution of symptoms, and others never completely recover, but most do at least improve. I hope you get to feeling better–I wish you the best of luck. –Erin

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  11. Hello Erin.

    Thank you for the helpful post. I’m a researcher on a tiny island in the Pacific, and took metronidazole for giardia. By the second day I had clear issues with my gait, tingling in my extremities, and increasing anxiety and insomnia. On the third night I woke up in a panic, confused as to where I was, and shocked to find myself “trapped” under a mosquito net. This was the worst experience of my life.

    I’ve been off of the metronidazole for two days now, but keep getting waves of anxiety and feel cloudy-minded and not in full control of my limbs, in addition to transient nausea. The doctors here -mostly educated in Fiji and Cuba- look at me like I’m nuts. They said just stop taking it and you’ll be fine. Now I’m realizing it’s more of a process than that.

    I realize you’re not a doctor, but in your friendly opinion what should I do? There is really no support for something like this here, but it sounds like there isn’t much in the States either. What can I do given my isolated condition to help myself? And, should I be on the first plane back to California once the anxiety abates?

    Thank you,
    Logan

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  12. Hi again.

    Apologies for posting again so soon, but I just finished reading through your entire site along with most of the linked research and have a question. You mention that peripheral neuropathy has a different rate of recovery than cns toxicity, but I don’t recall that figure from the research.

    When you have a minute, please let me know your thoughts on this. I am just coming off my experience with metronidazole and experienced both peripheral neuropathy as well as the symptoms of cns toxicity.

    Thanks.

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  13. Dear Erin
    I am going through the same situation. I just took 5 day course for my wisdom tooth removal. It gave me hell. I didn’t recognize what is happening to me. But when searched on inter net i got the answer “metronidazole”. Finally I reached in your blog.
    Currently i am suffering from anxiety, depression and in sleeplessness night and fear.. wakeup from sleep at middle of night and sudden discomfort occur and sweating…
    I visited my physician ..But he said it will be out of your system.. may be it is a side effect of drug. And he prescribed be 3 days medicine which include chlordiazepoxide (benzodiaEpine)…
    I feel relaxed now. But don’t know it will return after finishing the medicine.
    I can’t bear the effects . It ruined my life. I just want the old me.😓😓

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  14. Hi! I’m so happy I found your blog. I took Metro a little over a month ago. Prior to that, I was an extremely healthy, fit emotionally stable 47 yr old. I started noticing symptoms of insomnia, dry mouth and emotional instability while I was taking it. One day after I stopped, I developed severe insomnia, anxiety, burning skin on my neck, chest and arms, depression and nausea. I lost 6 pounds in one week. I had almost 3 days where I didn’t sleep, collapsed from exhaustion and went to the E.R.. Every test came back good. The doctor was perplexed. Sleeping pills and benadryl do not seem to affect my sleeping. I went to my Gyn doctor thinking that my hormones are imbalanced. She didn’t think that Metro caused my symptoms. She put me on Progesterone. It helped my sleep slightly. I seem to have good days and bad days. The bad ones are really bad. I just started acupuncture. It seemed to help my anxiety some. I have completely fallen apart. I feel like I’m having more good days than bad now, but sleep is still an issue and I do not feel like myself. I just joined your fb page. I see a lot of posts, but not sure if anyone is getting better, or is it all downhill from here? It may be too depressing to continue reading them. Is anyone getting better?? I’m afraid to see a psychiatrist because they will think I’m crazy linking my symptoms with Metro. Also afraid to start any psychiatric meds, but might need to take some. Thank you!!

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    1. Hey Lynne,

      Erin got better and there are a few people who have commented below who also got better- don’t worry, the route to recovery is slow but I am sure you will recover.

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  15. Dear Erin,

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this, I experienced all of the side effects listed which exacerbated my usually low level OCD, and gave me such terrifying levels of anxiety and depression I feared I would never feel normal again.

    To anyone else going through this, you can get through this- you will recover and you will return to your old self.

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  16. Thank you for the enlightenment as I thought I was getting crazy. I was prescribed of taking the .2g of oral Metro for almost 13 days. At first it was ok but later as I continue on taking the drug depression sets in. I would wake up one morning with a tired legs, on other occasions while working my whole body started to is feel sore all over.

    As I realized this, that I decided to stop taking the medicine. So on 8th day I only took 1 tab in the morning and did not take the remaining 2 tablets. When I was about to sleep, I could not sleep well and the temperature by then was 0 degrees. I started to chill even with blanket on and most of all I felt like I’m totally drained of fluid in my body. Also experiencing pressure within my chest.

    Now that I have a stop for at least 4 days from now. I can still its effect now. Chest pain, chill, burning sensation in both knees, feeling like having a fever, stress, anxiety and most of all restlessness at night.

    Right now, I want to know that even when you stop taking the Metro after 4 days. Will the residue of the medicine stay in your tongue for awhile that you it taste the foods that you eat metallic. Also, did you experience less appetite when eating.

    I do hope for your kind response.

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    1. Hi, Erwin. The loss of appetite is common for this, as is all the other symptoms you’ve described. Unfortunately, just stopping the medication doesn’t necessarily cure all the symptoms, although they will probably improve over time. I’d suggest reading the “Treatment” page on my blog (see the navigation bar) and, if you agree with my theory, implement the suggestions listed and hopefully your recovery will be much faster. Good luck–and please let me know if it works for you if you try the treatment plan (give it a few weeks to see if it helps).

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  17. Metrogirl, do you by any chance have an email I can contact you on? It would mean the world for me to be able to ask you a few questions re: what I am going through as I feel I am losing my mind.

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    1. If you give me your email, I’ll contact you directly. But honestly, I’ve put everything I can think of into this blog–have you checked out the Treatment page? There’s a treatment for metronidazole toxicity and it’s pretty easy, all things considered. It just takes time. And there’s a link to our Facebook support group on that page, if you want to join.

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  18. Ok– just wanted to know in your experience as most of the symptoms have left right now save for extreme dizziness and this ‘cotton head’ feeling if you think this means I could get better (it’s been almost a week since I’ve stopped taking it). I am just scared that this dizziness/head-spinning/cotton head feeling and this feeling that I’m wearing the wrong type of eye-glasses (too strong prescription, If that makes sense) will stay. I feel like I read somewhere on this blog that the first week is often indicative of the rest of your recovery?

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  19. Hi!

    Thank you for writing about this. I thought I was the only one that had gone through this. You have no idea how happy I am to finally have some closure.

    I had a similar experience. I started taking Metronidazole in December 2016 for a bacterial infection. I felt fine the first few days but then by the 4th or 5th day all the symptoms hit me. I had extreme anxiety, severe depression, and felt like my brain was working “slow”. I definitely had brain fog. I remember being so scared that this feeling wouldn’t go away I started becoming depressed. In a previous post Sina said “wrong type of eye-glass” and that is so true. I felt like I was seeing everything very slowly and through someone else’s eyes. I’m not sure if that makes sense.

    It’s now February 2018 and I feel so much better. My symptoms lasted 3 to 5 months but I didn’t start feeling 100% better until 6 or 8 months. Sorry I can’t remember specifics.

    If you’re experiencing this just know I was in the same situation! I felt the lowest I have ever felt in my life, I was scared to be alone with my thoughts, I was scared I would be like that forever, I was scared I was going CRAZY!! That’s wild to even say but I thought I was losing my mind. I promise you’re not going crazy and you will get through this!!

    What helped me — I tried to stay distracted 100% of the time. I read, watched happy and funny shows/movies, started a bullet journal, did puzzles, cleaned, got a job, played sudoku puzzles, exercised and got on a sleep schedule (big one for me). I did literally anything that had my mind distracted. This might sound cliche but self-care was huge for me. I worked out almost every day, went to sleep and woke up at the same time (8 hours of sleep), showered everyday, got dressed everyday (instead of nikes & t-shirt), kept my room and surroundings clean and organized.

    It’s important you tell someone how you’re feeling. I told my family, boyfriend, and a few close friends what was going on. I promise having a support system will help you feel less alone. When I told my mom through sobs I was thought I was going crazy just hearing her say “you’re not going crazy” and “we’re here for you” was so reassuring. I felt like someone was listening to me and I had people to help me get through this when I couldn’t do it by myself.

    You will get through this! Don’t give up hope!!

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    1. Thank you, AC. I understand exactly what you mean–it’s called derealization, the sensation of being detached from everything, and it’s unfortunately very common for this. I can tell you as well that you were not going crazy, and, like you, I distracted myself a lot the first few months. The way I see it, your inner voice is temporarily out of order and you shouldn’t give it any power. I’m glad you’re feeling so much better; if you ever have any additional problems stir, remember this blog and check out the “Treatment” page, because there’s some things you can do to help any flare up’s. We also have a support group on FB. Good luck and thanks for posting.

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    1. I would say, if you’re sensitive to metronidazole, then you’re probably sensitive to fluoroquinolones. However, while both these types of drugs can damage mitochondria, they do so in different ways, and I don’t believe metronidazole has fluoride. It’s my belief that metronidazole toxicity is actually metronidazole-induced thiamine deficiency, and it’s the thiamine deficiency that causes mitochondrial damage. It’s totally different mechanism than fluoroquinolones, which directly damage mitochondria.

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  20. So fluoride and dental procedures are safe for me?
    I understand for fluoroquinolones. Are there any other drugs that I must avoid? Floxies may not use steroids and NSAIDS.
    I will check my thiamine level.

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    1. I’m a patient, so all I can tell you is that I–personally–have had no issues. And as far as other drugs–there are other drgus, like NSAIDS, that tax the mitochondria. If you are having serious issues from metronidazole, then NSAIDS could tax the mitochondria even more. Now I do take NSAIDS when I feel they’re necessary, but not when I was dealing with serious metronidazole toxicity, only when I felt better, just in case. No issues, but again, I’m only one person.

      You can’t get your thiamine level checked–conventional doctors have very basic tests that really don’t test well for things like this. Same for magnesium. It take more comprehensive testing most doctors don’t use, and probably is not available in your area.

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  21. After toxicity I am very sensitive to supplements and medication. Medicine isn’t my profession so I don’t know anything about this.
    Can you please tell me what are drugs that could tax the mitochondria?

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    1. I googled. The list is long. Some local anesthetics are on it.
      Currently I am using mirtazapine 30mg and sulpiride 300mg for my stomach problems. I can’t find information about this medications and mitochondria. Does it mean that they are safe? What you think?

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    1. I don’t think so, but I think magnesium stearate isn’t so great. Maybe avoid that one–I drink Natural Calm. It’s a magnesium powder you dissolve in water, so it’s easy to adjust the amount you take. You can get it at the Vitamin Shoppe and whole food stores.

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      1. Do you have any suggestions for attempting to start treatment? Feel free to email. Will gladly share more.

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  22. I was given a Rx of Metronidazole 500mg 3x/day for 21 days for C Diff..I only made it to Day 4 (14 pills by then) before stopping and contacting my Dr to switch me to Vancomycin (after reading the horrible reviews on the internet for Metro) plus the random side effects that started. I had headaches right off the bat but they weren’t unbearable so I managed. I noticed my eyes would involuntarily dart on Day 2 but it didn’t last long. On day 3 my right thumb started to twitch all day and by day 4 other muscles started twitching. I only took 2 of the 3 pills on day 4 because I was fed up (and worried) with my high dosage. I completely stopped by Day 5 and have been experiencing the tingling sensations/numbness in my limbs and brain fog without even being on the meds for a day! I had terrible insomnia and chest pain on Day 4-going into day 5. I tried to take a nap on day 5 without having taken any meds and kept jerking awake. I already suffer from high anxiety and panic attacks so going through all of this is so unfortunate.

    Spoke with my local pharmacist and he stated that the Metronidazole should be out of my system by 3 days since I had such a high dosage but looking at the reviews on the meds (with many people having way lower dosage than I), it makes me worry when my symptoms will conclude.

    I’m extremely hesitant to even start the Vancomycin due to the side effects of the other! But I need to get rid of my C Diff. Ugh! Any words of encouragement/success stories/healed patients…would be GREAT right about now.

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    1. Vancomycin is a completely different drug, and the oral version DOES NOT get into the bloodstream, so it will only affect your digestive tract.

      What you’re describing is metronidazole neurotoxicity–sorry. The involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), muscle twitching, the tingling/numbness (neuropathy), and the neuropsychiatric effects are all related to this drug. Don’t believe what the doctors and pharmacist say–they are in denial when it comes to adverse drug reactions. There are even warnings about the drug’s neurotoxicity on the FDA label and it specifically says the symptoms DO NOT go away immediately.

      Here’s some good news–most people make a full recovery. You recognized the issue and you stopped the drug. And you’re in a good position to immediately start supplementation therapy, which will (hopefully) help (see my treatment page). It probably will take some time, with good and bad days. The psychiatric issues have the best chance of a full recovery. But this might take a few weeks, if not a few months, and you’re going to have to push through. Hopefully, things resolve faster, but be prepared that they might not.

      Feel better and good luck to you.
      Erin

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      1. Hi Erin!

        Thanks for the prompt response. I am hoping I stopped in enough time before too much damage was done. My only concern is the high dosage in such a short period of time and whether that plays a factor into recovery. I pray that it all goes away, as I’m only on my first day of discontinued use of the Metronidazole. And no other delayed or “withdrawal type” symptoms occur.

        I have worried myself sick googling all of the reviews but find a little relief in your blog, since it does seem to be treatable, though it takes time. I appreciate all of your diligence in getting and SHARING information on all of this! I am hoping to spot a few more success stories as time goes on, as right now, this is a beast of its own.

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    2. How are you going now TP? It’s two months for me and whilst I’m improved, I’m still a long way from where I’d like to be!

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  23. Great blog. I only took one 250MG dose of this antibotic before experiencing a severe reaction, including stomach pain, nausea, lower back pain, headaches, insomina, and tingling in my lower arms and in my hands. As I was on three different antibiotics at the time, I wasn’t sure which one was the culprit, but after having found your blog, I guess it was the Metronidazole. Two days later I am still experiencing fatigue, low mood, a foggy sensation in my brain, and numbness and tingling in my hands.

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    1. It could very well be the metronidazole, but a lot of times, Cipro is given with metronidazole, and Cipro can cause pretty much identical issues. Both drugs can cause dysfunction and/or damage of the mitochondria–metronidazole indirectly through destroying thiamine and Cipro directly. If you took Cipro, I’d suggest checking out floxihope.com; Lisa has a great blog there about it.

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      1. I took Clarithomycin and Amoxicillin as well. I believe these two are in the same class of antibiotics. I saw a doc at a drop in clinic today (my GP wasn’t available), and he thought the most likely causative agent was the Flagyl. He said the numbness and tingling in my arms and hands is extremely rare, especially with only one dose.

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  24. Oh, okay. Then in that case, it was probably the metronidazole. The others can cause central nervous system effects, but metronidazole is known to cause peripheral neuropathy, which is what you’re experiencing. Hopefully, now that you’re off the drug, these symptoms will lessen and resolve. Sorry that happened to you–it’s good you have a doctor who believes this can happen. A lot of them don’t.

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  25. I guess I should count myself as fortunate….Because I had an extreme immediate reaction to the drug, I was only exposed to a small dose. However, the numbness and tingling has progressed up past my elbows.
    The doc seemed sceptical at best, and he had no recommendation for treatment. I couldn’t find a B1 only supplement, so I bought a B complex. I will search the internet for a B1 supplement in Canada.
    Also, my original bacterial infection has not been resolved, and I’m scared to take any other antibiotic that the doc can prescribe.

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  26. Just like Morris posted in November 16, I took Metronidazole for a dental problem (1x wisdom teeth extraction) but for me, about 8 days. I took a total of 17 pills of 400 mg each (was meant to 3 times a day).

    2 days in, I started feeling things like nausea, dizziness/unsteadyness, diarrhea, sleepless nights, extreme muscle fatigue, numbness and pins and needles, on both foot and hands, dry and cracked skin, crying feelings, sweating profusely during sleeps, and worse off, brain fog/confused mind and depression. I previously have had anxiety so I’m unsure if it was by co-incidence that I started feeling like this after the metronide but I now know the difference between anxiety and depression very clearly.

    I had my last pill less than 24 hours later and it wasn’t only until after I had this pill did I stumble upon this forum where a lot of comments are also about dental and the same symptoms and similiar dosages.

    From my understanding, this drug seems to damage your brain and we have to wait for the brain to heal. Have read the treatment page but not really keen on taking any more supplements/vitamins/etc. Any way of flushing the drug out quicker or healing quicker without doing anything “unnatural”?

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    1. Hi, Dan. Sorry you’ve gone through this, but the drug will be out of your system within roughly 48 hours. It’s half-life is relatively short, but that’s not the point. Just like getting burned with fire–you take the fire away, it doesn’t mean your burn injury disappears, right? Based on the symptoms you’ve described, it sounds to me like you have metronidazole toxicity, and metronidazole toxicity causes brain dysfunction and possible damage, plus nerve damage, which your also described. It can take quite some time to heal for some people, especially without treatment. Detoxing doesn’t seem to do anything from the feedback I’ve gotten from others with this problem, but feel free to try it. I have no suggestions on what to try, however, in regards to that.

      As for the treatment page…if you don’t agree with this treatment, that’s up to you. I’m not a doctor; I’m just referencing what I’ve read in medical literature about this condition and written about it. However, if you do agree, then you’re looking at this treatment the wrong way. Supplements like St. Johns Wort and ginkgo are similar to drug therapy–they alter the way your body normally functions and, just like drugs, they can have side effects. But nutritional therapy is NOT drug therapy; your body requires nutrients to live. Without them, you die. You will not die because you didn’t take ginkgo or ibuprofen–you will die if your body runs out of vitamin B1 or vitamin C or magnesium.

      Nutrients are as important as food, water and oxygen, and if you believe that metronidazole has caused thiamine deficiency based on what you read on the treatment page, then you are neglecting the one thing you need to do, which is to correct the deficiency through thiamine and magnesium supplementation. There is NOTHING “unnatural” about vitamins and minerals.

      However, if you don’t believe this theory, that’s fine–you have the right to disagree. Again, I’m not a doctor; I’ve just done a lot of research into this drug. But I can tell you what will happen with no treatment: A) You will be one of the lucky ones whose body bounces back from this quickly on its own and within a few weeks, feel much better regardless of what you do, B) You will be like me and most of the people I’ve talked to who have MT toxicity, and you will have these symptoms for the next several months–going through good days and bad days, flare up’s that wax and wane–but slowly improve over the course of about six to nine months where you can enjoy things again, but still have random flare up’s that can put you back in bed, or C) be one of the unfortunate people who continue to decline, or you start to improve but then relapse and possibly end up permanently injured. I’ve spoken to hundreds of patients of metronidazole toxicity now; we have a FB support group. This seems to be the pattern for most people, one of these three scenarios, with “B” being the most common.

      That’s not to say thiamine treatment is going to fix everything; it depends how badly your were damaged and how well those enzymes in your body can absorb thiamine now. And some people have that paradoxical reaction, and it can be bad, especially if the MT toxicity is chronic for a long time. The sooner you start, the better chance of a full recovery.

      So it’s up to you what to do–there is only one doctor I’ve spoken to who has an full understanding of thiamine deficiency disease, and that’s Dr. Longsdale who wrote the textbook I referenced on my treatment page. He fully agrees with me on the link between metronidazole and thiamine deficiency, and is a part of our FB support group now. You will NOT find a doctor who knows about metronidazole toxicity; it’s not something they study or understand. You might find a doctor who is willing to learn about it, though, and I hope you do.

      Good luck! I hope you find the right treatment option for you.

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  27. Hi Erin

    Thank you for all of your information regarding metronidazol intoxication!
    I have one question. Did you take allithiamine on an empty stomach or with food?
    Im wondering if the stomach acid will destroy the allithiamine sucture?Thank you.

    Steffen

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    1. The stomach acid will destroy a little bit of it, but that’s true for every nutrient. I would suggest you take it with food at the beginning, at Allithiamine is pure garlic and might irritate the stomach a little if it’s empty (preferably take the Allithiamine first then eat). Nowadays, I take it with food, without food, doesn’t matter. My body’s used to it.

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      1. I see….its been 3 weeks now that im on allithiamine but I cant see an improvement. Before I was on thiamine hcl. Then I sitched to allithiamine. Im taking 250 mg. wondering when do I see some improvements?How long can this paradoxical reaction last?

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      2. It can take a while, especially if you’ve had a particularly bad reaction. Are you taking magnesium with it? Thiamine won’t absorb properly without it. If you don’t see any benefits after a few more weeks, I’d suggest seeing a functional doctor and show him this blog (even functional doctors aren’t aware of all adverse drug reactions). He/she might be able to give you a more complicated treatment plan that addresses all issues. Thiamine is required to properly absorb other nutrients, so if you’re deficient in thiamine, you might be deficient in something else. Taking thiamine might make the other deficiency (or deficiencies) more apparent, so it’ll need to be addressed, too, but that’s beyond my knowledge scope. A functional doctor or possibly nutritionist will have to tackle that.

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  28. Yes…been taking magnesium but cant afford a functional doctor. Are you having flare ups?Its a very hard time for me since im also dealing with mcs and lyme. Thank you for your help!

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  29. Hi Erin,

    Thanks for your information. I’m two weeks out and so far I feel awful, maybe worse than I did to start with. Have you heard of anyone who progressively worsens over time? I’m so worried I’ve triggered something off and am going to continue to decline. I had peripheral neuropathy at the start which has gone now, but the unsteadiness and dizziness has come back with a vengeance. I feel like I can’t form sentences properly and am beyond anxious. I’m struggling to even get out of bed. Also do you know if anyone gets help form benzos in the initial stage?

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    1. Hi, Katie. Yes, there have been some cases of people declining after recovering but that is uncommon. What is much more common–even the norm, I’d say–is to have “flare ups.” A flare up from metronidazole toxicity is where you’re doing better, feeling better, maybe even almost recovered, and then, out of nowhere, symptoms come roaring back. Sometimes all, sometimes only some symptoms, but they are there. It can be due to a number of different things: virus, physical stress, emotional stress, work, lack of sleep, menstruation. Sometimes, it’s completely random. They will usually subside over days or weeks, but then they return again in the future.

      I’d suggest you read my “treatment page” because the most common theory of metronidazole toxicity is that it’s actually metronidazole-induced thiamine deficiency. The flare ups are due to your thiamine (aka, vitamin B1) being so deficient due to the drug, that any little stress can make you use up the little bit of B1 you have and then–BOOM!–you’re back into the red zone of deficiency and symptoms manifest again. It starts to improve, symptoms resolve, you have another stressor, you use up the fragile amount of B1 you’ve gotten back, and then–again–you plummet into deficiency and symptoms recur. Aka, flare up.

      It’s potentially treatable, but the earlier you start, the better chance of recovery. I’m not a doctor; I’m just a patient. I have references on the treatment page that are linked and you can decide if you believe this theory or not. I can’t give more advice than what I’ve read and described on that treatment page, so, in the end, you will have to decide what is best for you. Good luck!

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  30. I just got my husband home from a week-long stay at the hospital. He’s been sick for 2 months after taking antibiotics. They did every test imaginable. Still, no firm diagnosis, although his primary is convinced it is the Flagyl. Gary was on Flagyl and Bactrim at the same time and the day after he finished his course of treatment he threw up blood and broke out in a rash all over his body. He was hospitalized at that time and released with no diagnosis. He felt like his whole body was on fire – it’s been torturous. He’s also had hallucinations upon waking up. They don’t last long and he understands it’s not real after a bit. This latest hospitalization was the result of him developing a high fever 104. While hospitalized they put him on Lyrica. He’s almost at the top dose but after increasing the dose he experiences great relief, and then the burning keeps returns. I have a question. They tested his B1 in the hospital. It is 86, which they say is within normal limits. Do you still believe he needs B1 when his levels are showing normal? We understand the Lyrica is just covering symptoms. We want to heal the root cause. Thank you for this article!!

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  31. Hi Erin,
    I was wondering if I could please email you and ask if you reckon my symptoms are related to Secnidazole toxicity which I took when my symptoms first began? Many thanks and warm wishes,
    Rebecca

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      1. Hi Erin, thank you for writing back – I understand not being able to diagnose but could I ask you some questions to get your opinion? I’d really appreciate it 🙏🏼🌷

        Like

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