About

erin-pictureHello, my name is Erin.  I started this blog after having an adverse reaction to metronidazole in order to help other people who have suffered the same experience.  I won’t pretend to have all the answers–any drug that acts as a neurotoxin on the brain is bound to have some  unpredictable (and scary) side effects.  But I wanted to share what I’ve uncovered through my own research, and I hope it helps you as you make your way towards recovery.

Aside from doing research on metronidazole, I’m an assistant and staff writer.  I write for two medical magazines in my home state, and yes, I am definitely writing articles about my experience!

86 thoughts on “About

  1. Thank you for sharing, 1st time on Flagyl, 14 day 500 mg, irritable bowle type issues.
    Nothing diagnosed.. but a pre drug before insurance will cover a different drug.
    I have many of the symptoms, initial anxiety, insomnia, tiredness, joint aches, shortness of breath, tingling hands, metallic taste, brown stinky pee. I call the nurse line and discussed with them, they urged me to continue. Will provide more detail later. Thanks

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  2. Hi there, I can across your blog through an antibiotics adverse reaction group on Facebook. I joined this group because I’ve been having an extremely rough time after taking a course of antibiotics (Flaygl-Metronidazole) for a stomach parasite in August 2015. I only took the Flagyl for 5 days but I suddenly woke up one night with an extreme panic attack, thinking I was dying/having a heart attack and literally fearing for my life….I had NEVER experienced panic in my life before or even anxiety issues for that matter. From that point I, I suffered from extreme panic attacks for a few weeks (went to the hospital like 3 times b/c I didn’t understand it at the time) and experienced severe insomnia for 5 months. I was put on a concoction of medication of course, and have since managed to decrease it to only 0.125 mg clonzapam, 5 mg citralopram and GABBA twice a day for anxiety. At the end of 2015, my intestinal issues ramped back up again (I never took probiotics w/ the Flagyl). Since then, I have extreme waves (1-2 days or even 1-2 weeks) of either intestinal bloating, gnawing,and pain where I can barely eat or anxiety/panic symptoms where my digestion is fine. I’ve read ALOT about the brain-gut axis, and I swear it’s all connected and linked to my gut. I’ve also contracted a bacteria, stomach parasite, SIBO and candida since the Flagyl and I also have extremely low stomach acid. I’ve been on the “candida” diet with anti-fungal supplements for 7 weeks now (I’ve been told that my brain fog, anxiety, extreme fatigue and intestinal problems could be caused by candida) but I feel even worse. I’ve also been diagnosed with “ibs” and have had all food allergy/sensitivity testing come back negative. I’m basically at my lowest point, wits end, I can barely function day to day…I keep coming back to the antibiotics b/c I never had ANY of these issues before.
    Sorry for the long-winded post, but any advice or support would be appreciated 🙂

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    1. Hi, Ali. Sorry for the delay–I have limited internet on the weekends. I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through all this–I had stomach issues for a few months after taking Flagyl, but they have since resolved. The first few months were the worst–I couldn’t hardly eat, had no desire to eat and when I did eat, I felt full after only a few bites. It was murder trying to get down a meal.

      I wish I had some magic bullet solution to this problem. A few things I did when it was at its worst was: 1) I drank Kefir. It’s just a fancy name for drinkable yogurt but it has a lot more probiotics than regular yogurt. 2) I drank Boost Nutritional Drinks. They kept my calories up when this was really bad. They are gluten and lactose free but they do have sugar. 3) Magnesium. When you’re stressed, your body burns through magnesium fast, so it’s good to keep it up. I used Natural Calm–it’s a powder you can dissolve in liquid (so you can control how much you ingest). Start slow with it.

      Your problem is common with Flagyl. From all the other people I’ve talked to about their stomach issues, I don’t think this is from candida. I considered that for myself as well, but another girl I’ve spoken to has been tested for every yeast/fungi on the planet, and all tests are negative.

      If I’m being completely frank, I think it’s due to the drug’s neurotoxicity. I think it causes a lot more problems than doctors realize. I wish I had better answers, but if this candida diet isn’t working, then maybe it’s time to forget it.

      Another option is going to see a naturopath. I have not done this but other people have, and naturopaths are much better at believing this type of thing can happen compared to normal doctors. They might have ideas about supplements that might help.

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      1. Thanks so much for replying, it’s so comforting to FINALLLY come across someone else who is experiencing the same thing as me. It’s been a year and 4 months and the only thing mostly resolved is my sleep (I was on sleeping pills for 8 months) and the fact that I don’t get full on panic attacks, only symptoms of panic. I don’t understand why the doctors refuse to acknowledge it. Like you, they told me it was no longer in my system and wasn’t the metronidazole. Are your symptoms fully gone? I’m wondering if I should see a neurologist or someone who specializes in the gut-brain axis as I am really suffering day to day. I’ve already seen a naturopath but sadly it wasn’t too much help. Also, do you know of anyone else still experiencing symptoms similar to mine that I could get in contact with? I truely hope you’re doing well 💜

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  3. Hi Erin,

    Thanks for sharing, it’s helped me to know I’m not going completely crazy. I was prescribed a 5 day course of metronidazole for an infected wisdom tooth and apart from a numbish tongue didn’t seem too much different, the trouble started nearing the end of the course started having rapid heartbeats, feeling low, negative thoughts and then I felt much better, until yesterday when I felt severely depressed, crying, panic, no appetite etc (I already have mild anxiety but this feels completely different) it feels like last year all over again- was on the contraceptive patch and had a very similar experience- except that lasted the whole of last year. I’m just stumped on what to do next, this is my third day off it and not sure if I should ride it out or if I should go and see a physiatrist about this, just a bit worried going on more medication will only make things worse. Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks, abbie

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    1. Hi, Abbie. I’m sorry you’re going through that. Metronidazole can cause a lot of psychiatric symptoms, much more than doctors seem to be aware of. I actually had a bad experience on a contraceptive several years ago, so I understand what you’re talking about. It’s clear you–just like me and many others–are hypersensitive to drugs that affect the central nervous system.

      Beyond what’s mentioned in the blog, metronidazole can affect the GABA in the brain, and that’s basically the calming neurotransmitter. What you’re going through is awful but normal for this. Some people recover very quickly and some can take more time. It’s really up in the air. I’ve spoken to people who get all better in a few weeks; my psychiatric symptoms took about 8 months to go away completely (just remember, though, my story isn’t your story). Psychiatrically, I feel great nowadays.

      A few things–first of all, it’s not a bad idea to see a psychiatrist. They’re usually more open to this type of drug reaction than other doctors and might be able to make a plan when it comes to treating the symptoms (either with close monitoring or perhaps an antidepressant or sedative).

      Second, try to keep your strength and weight up. I’d suggest kefir to your gut flora (it’s a drinkable yogurt–you can find it at the grocery store) and some type of nutritional drink. I liked the chocolate Boost Plus Nutritional Drinks–340 calories for a little 8 oz bottle. They’re easy to get down, even with no appetite.

      As for the anxiety and depression–all normal for this. They are the most common symptoms for this type of reaction. I’m assuming you’re not sleeping well–the mirtazapine was what really helped me and a few others but it’s not for everyone. There are other drugs on the market, if that’s the route you wish to go. If not, I’d suggest magnesium to help calm your heart, as it’s known as the “calming mineral.” I like Natural Calm magnesium powder. It’s on Amazon. Another option, especially if your blood pressure is high, is to try a beta-blocker. I did not try this, but they are known to have a calming effect.

      There are options out there. Even if the first few don’t work (I tried several myself before I found what’s right for me), then you’ll eventually find what works best for you. It’s very possible this could calm down on its own. But if it doesn’t, there are ways to treat some of the symptoms.

      I hope that helps. Good luck! –Erin

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  4. Hi Erin,

    Thanks a lot for replying, I’m currently working on calming my anxiety by accepting I can’t understand it and that it’s only anxiety which has helped a bit. I’ve ordered the magnesium powder to give that a go also 🙂 how often did you take it? Did it work atall for you? Sorry for the questions haha

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  5. I took it every night for a few months, but the smallest dose. Too much magnesium can cause loose stool, so if you notice that, scale it back. Just mix it with hot water, let it cool and then dump it into more water or even a soda (I like sparkling fruit-flavored water). It helped a little. Other people have had more success and others not at all. It just depends.

    Also, on my “Anxiety” page, I talk about sleep hypnosis. Not sure I believe in actual hypnosis, but the guided meditation is really helpful. Pretty much, the voice in your head right now is out of order, so you should try best not to listen to it. So listen to other people, just a suggestion.

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  6. Hello,
    I took Flagyl 500 mg for 7 days and noticed on day 3 that I was feeling spacy and dizzy. I also had an anxiety I couldn’t quite explain. Oddly enough (since I overthink everything in general) I didn’t coorelate the symptoms with the med, and finished the course. A few days after that, I had tingling in my left foot and weakness in my limbs. It has now been 3.5 months and I am still experiencing anxiety, dizziness/unbalanced that comes and goes, and a consistent weird disorientation with certain eye movements (like close to far). I saw a neurologist, had 2 MRIs, nerve tests, eye exam, saw an ENT, & the list goes on. I have recently been diagnosed with SIBO and have had trouble with my digestion through all of this. I know this is all from Flagyl, but none of the drs can conclude that. I know I am sensitive to meds and wish I would’ve steered clear! I am at my wits end with the nervous symptom issues, & it’s definitely given me anxiety and depression. I am working on my gut/liver health as much as possible, but have considered an antidepressant as a last resort. I have just been nervous that any more medication would make my issues worse?! My question to you is whether you feel like overall the antidepressant you took was worth it? I can’t imagine feeling any dizzier/out of it than I already am! I know all medication filters through liver. Thanks so much and so happy you are mainly back to your normal self!

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    1. Hi, Bonnie. First of all, I’m sorry you’re going through all this. Psychiatric issues seem to be the most common ailments of metronidazole toxicity, followed closely by motor control issues and nerve damage.

      In regards to your condition:

      1) Everyone I know who suffers from metronidazole toxicity completely loses their appetites and has some type of digestive issue. I had mild nausea but more than anything, I just didn’t want to eat. Food was repulsive to me (which is not like me–the bigger the pizza, the bigger the smile). I did have constipation the first few weeks. I know others who have horrible cramping and taste distortion. I’m not convinced you have SIBO but trying to improve your gut flora can only help you. I drink kefir everyday–it’s a drinkable yogurt and at least my colon is happy now.

      2) About the antidepressant. I have no regrets about the mirtazapine. I was suffering from insomnia so badly that I knew I needed something at that point to relieve it. And it did. It wasn’t perfect, my sleep rhythm took some time to improve, but it certainly helped. It helped some with the depression and anxiety as well, just enough to take the edge off. Those symptoms didn’t wind down completely until about eight months later (they were improving over that time, though. It wasn’t where I woke up one day from being horribly sick and it was all gone). I no longer need the mirtazapine, so I just have it in case I get a cold or something, and have a hard time sleeping. It’s literally become a mild sleep aid and I take a bread crumb size of it, and that’s all I need.

      However, everyone is different. I’ve recommended this drug to other people with metronidazole toxicity and for some, it helps greatly. Others, it helps them sleep but that’s it. If you decide to get it, I’d suggest starting on the lowest dose (7.5 mgs) and cutting it in half. Build it up as needed and then taper off SLOWLY when you’re ready. I spent months tapering off (why not? I wasn’t in a hurry to stop) and had no withdrawal issues.

      Good luck! I wish you the best.

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      1. Hi Erin

        Really glad to come across this blog. I too am suffering from the effects of Flagyl. I felt a lot of mental confusion and anxiety while on the drug which I finished a week ago. Still feel really anxious..I suffer from a little anxiety anyway but this is off the charts.

        The most worrying symptom is burning and tingling in my feet which I’m concerned might be some form of perpioheral neuropathy. Do you know anyone who’d had this burning/tingling and it’s gone away and didn’t last for a long time.

        I have been taking Atavan to get to sleep but concerned I’m going to get dependent on it. I am typically very healthy, exercise, eat well. I vaguely knew about this drug’s horrible side effects, but thought I wouldn’t be one to get them. What a mistake.

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  7. Hi, this past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I was on flagyl for a week and on my very last pill, I felt completely washed over with anxiety and depression along with other symptoms that come with flagyl toxicity. It’s been a week now, and my sleep has improved, my appetite has slowly come back and I’ll have better days. But I’m just so scared that I’ll be like this forever. I just want my life back. As my symptoms improve, I notice that I’ve been having odd headaches. I’m not sure if that’s normal but I’m honestly terrified that this is something that can’t be fixed. I was able to see a therapist within 3 days of feeling this way, which I hope speeds up my recovery. I’m so glad I was able to find people that have experienced this before. It makes it so much less scary and it makes me feel less alone. My question is, what was your recovery like? I’m curious because I’ve noticed some improvement over the past week, but the emotional distress is still here. I’m still so anxious , scared, and upset and I would really want some reassurance that it’s not going to be like this forever. Thanks in advance!

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    1. The psychiatric issues are the most common and usually have the best chance at a full recovery. I wouldn’t compare your recovery with mine–I had motor control issues and autonomic issues that are less common and have a less chance of recovery. However, even with all that, plus the psychiatric issues, I am perfectly happy now. All the emotional issues–the anxiety, depression, crying spells, etc)–went away. It may just take some time. Some people recover completely within a few weeks and others take longer. Don’t be surprised if you have “good days” and “bad days” where you start to feel better and then it comes back some. All normal for this, but there is usually small bits of improvement as time moves on.

      As for the “strange” headaches–don’t tell me…it’s like a head pressure sensation. Feels like your brain is too big for your skull. I’m guessing you have this either all over your head or at the back of your head. Again, a very common symptom for this and it should calm over time.

      I am sorry you’re going through this. I’ve been there and it’s awful. I seriously doubt you will be dealing with this forever but it may linger a bit. Therapy is a good method to help, as long as the therapist understands this is a neurological issue and not a psychological one. Nothing is wrong with you psychologically–you’re hurt. Your brain is injured and this is the way it’s responding but that doesn’t mean the symptoms can’t go away. The brain has to re-route itself a bit, to get past the busted neurotransmitters. Give it time to heal and just try to hang in there.

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      1. Hi Erin, Just wanted to do a follow up since I feel like it would be helpful to others reading through this. It’s been about 5 months since the Flagyl Toxicity, and a lot has improved. My appetite, insomnia, anxiety and overall well-being has greatly improved since. Going to therapy and jumping into a healthier lifestyle has really done a great job at putting my health right back on track. However, the only thing that really lingered on has been the depression, altered state of mind and overall mental confusion. I’ll have weeks where I’ll feel like my old self again and then comes a wave of sadness and personality changes. Not 100% sure if it’s lingering effects of the Flagyl or my new IUD that has given me horrible side effects. I just wanted to leave a positive update to let others know how things DO improve, you just need to give it some time. Thank you so much for starting this blog! it has helped me greatly.

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      2. It’s great to hear you’re feeling better. A healthier lifestyle can certainly aid in this process, and it sounds like you’re on the right track. I did want to let you know that I think I’ve uncovered what’s causing metronidazole’s neurotoxicity–I’ve updated my Treatment page on this blog–it has to do with nutrients, so it’ll be right up your alley. Maybe it’ll help you get rid of those last lingering symptoms!

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  8. I experienced peripheral neuropathy in my hands and legs less than 48 hours after completing my 7 day Rx (500 mg twice a day) for treatment of BV. I was at the airport in Atlanta when the neuropathy started. I fought through it for almost 3 hours while I waited for my departing flight out of Atlanta. It got so bad and my legs started seizing up that I asked for a paramedic. I did not feel well or right enough to get on my flight. The rest of that evening was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. The EMTs that eventually came to my assistance asked what RX’s I was taking. I told them I had completed a 7 day course of Metronidazole less than 48 hours prior..but that I also take Lexapro for anxiety/depression because they asked about ALL of the RXs I’ve taken. The EMTs latched on to the Lexapro and immediately assumed I was having a panic attack. I was anxious but because it took over 30 min for EMTs to come to the gate to render assistance. My blood pressure was fairly normal and so was my heart rate (things that are usually significantly elevated when having an anxiety attach). When I told them again about the Metronidazole, they dismissed it. I had an anxiety attack over 18 years ago and my symptoms then were not like what I was experiencing. I KNEW it wasn’t a panic attack. Then proceeded to tell me they couldn’t do anything for me and that they could take me to the ER by ambulance but that it would be expensive. They recommended I take myself to the ER. I was traveling alone and scared…so I told them I was not comfortable doing that because my legs felt so weak. so I insisted on transport by ambulance. On the trip to the ER, the EMT in the ambulance again dismissed my concerns about the Metro. When I got to the ER, the treatment I received was just as bad. The EMTs whispered loudly to the nurses “panic attack” and even rolled their eyes. So the precedent was set. the ER nurses and doctor, as a result, just chalked it up as a panic attack. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I started to cry. the ER doc then asked if I was wanting to harm myself (suicidal). I told them NO. so he asked why I was crying. I told him it was because I was SCARED and by myself and not getting the help I needed. They gave me Xanax. And hour later the doctor checked on me. I told him I felt sleepy from the Xanax but that the numbness and tingling in my hands and legs persistent. He said, “that’s odd because the Xanax should have remedied that”. I then demanded an IV….thinking that if I flushed my system I might feel better. Especially since I hadn’t had hardly any fluids in 48 hours. The IV definitely helped. They discharged me a few hours later even though I still had numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. I took an Uber to a local hotel and proceeded to drink over a gallon of water to flush my system. When I woke up the next morning, the numbness and tingling was gone and I was able to get back to the airport and fly home. I have continue to drink plenty of fluids and the symptoms I had have not come back. The experience I had was horrible….and the fact that the medical community dismissed my concerns and tried to say it was anxiety/panic was awful. the warning label on my RX listed Numbness and Tingling of arms and legs as a serious side effect and to seek medical treatment right away. I did just that…sought medical treatment and the medical community FAILED me in that regard. I’m just grateful that my side effects weren’t worse and that I have been able to physically recover from my experience. I have already filed a complaint with the FDA about my experience on Metronidazole since the medical community needs to get better educated on the serious side effects associated with this drug.

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    1. I am really sorry that happened to you. It’s just a tragedy that, even though peripheral neuropathy is listed on the WARNINGS about metronidazole, it (along with other adverse reactions) are not recognized by the medical community. This is one of the reasons I created this blog, because the medical community is in denial about the dangers of prescription drugs and they do not have the answers they should have. Your case is a classic one–I very rarely run across someone whose experience is positive when it comes to their doctors and their reactions. I am relieved to hear your symptoms went away so quickly. Thank you for sharing your story and that you recovered. I’m sure there are people who look at this blog and want to hear more recovery stories like yours. 🙂

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      1. Thanks so much, Erin. It’s pretty frustrating when you are an educated patient who reads the patient prescription info and tells medical professionals that you are experiencing a bad side effect that is LISTED on the prescribing info. It clearly stated in my Rx paperwork to seek medical help right away if you experience numbness/tingling of your arms/legs. I’m just baffled by how the medical staff just completely dismissed my concerns. What if I had still been taking the Rx and continued to do so after being discharged from the ER? Thank goodness for the fact that I had finished the RX less than 48 hours earlier and had common sense to flush my system with fluids to rid my body of this horrible drug. I had a dog that had a severe reaction to metronidazole a few years ago. She wound up with severe numbness in the lower half of her body so she was struggling to use her hind legs. The ER Vet new right away it was from Metronidazole even before I told him she had been on that Rx for 7 days. They advised to stop the drug immediately and gave us an RX of diazepam to help eliminate the toxins in her body faster. however, 3 days after we stopped the Metro and 3 days into the diazepam Rx, her symptoms worsened. So much that the toxicity affected her entire body. she lost function of her hide legs and front legs…and started having seizures. We got her to the ER vet in the nick of time. Her body temp was a half a degree from causing permanent brain damage. They put her on cooling IV fluids which included more diazepam and also put her in an ice bath to save her life. She survived thanks to the ER vet clinic we took her to. So all of that was going through my mind while I was dealing with EMTs and an ER doc that lacked compassion, knowledge and understanding….while trying to just label me as someone having a bad anxiety attack.

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  9. I am so thankful Erin that you cared enough to do so much research and create a blog to help others with what for me has been nothing short of a terrifying experience. I was put on 500 mg of Metro, 2x per day for 7 days for BV. On day 3, I was unable to complete some accounting at work because my brain was just not functioning. I didn’t make the connection to the drug at that point. On day 5, I had a sudden onset of extreme body aches, numb feet, dizziness, major brain fog, anxiety…. I stopped the drug at that point believing it was the cause. What has followed is 3 weeks that have been hellish. I have constant nervous energy and anxiety which I have NEVER been prone to. Zero appetite – I mean none. Have dropped 7 lbs in 20 days. Extreme thirst, extreme fatigue, very “disassociated”, cognitive issues, hot flashes… you name it. I have gone from a person that worked out 6 days a week and rarely sat down to someone who can barely get through the day. Like many others, my GP dismissed that it could be the Metro. She ran a ton of blood work and only the white blood cells were slightly low which I’ve read can be another side effect of this drug. What I find really strange is that I have times (usually a a few hours) where I feel almost normal – it’s like the cloud lifts and my appetite is back and my brain is better. I am hanging on to these periods of feeling better hoping they will get longer and the bad periods will get shorter. I share this in hopes that it will help others believe they are not losing their minds. You blog has convinced me to acknowledge that I am injured and to take the time to heal. I have been trying to “power” through this and I believe trying to keep up the facade that I’m OK has added to my anxiety. I decided to have my husband and family read your page to help them understand what I’m dealing with rather than trying to hide the fact that I’m unwell. This small step really relieved some of my stress already. Now I plan to take it as easy as life allows and take it one day at a time! This drug is poison for far too many people. Awareness is needed to prevent others from suffering.

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    1. JMB, can you please give me an update? Have you recovered, if so how? I am having exactly the same symptoms as you and would love to have some hope or some reality. Thank you.

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      1. Hi Sina. I am sincerely sorry to hear you are going through this too. It is sheer hell.

        It is hard for me to say whether I am much better or not. I have SEVERE insomnia – like 1.5/2 hours sleep per night and have had it for almost 3 months. I have been to a neurologist, endocrinologist, natural path and no one can seem to give me anything that helps. As a result, it is VERY hard for me to know if I am recovering. On the rare nights that I get 4/5 hours of sleep, I do feel better the next day. I still have some tingling in my feet and some numbness on and off in my right toe. My skin sometimes is warm and seems sensitive to temperatures and clothes – weird stuff. I also get kind of “prickly” feeling on my skin. My dizziness is better. My appetite still sucks but at least I can force myself to eat now. Dropped about 12 lbs since I took the medicine but I have been able to at least stop losing it.
        I have to say that one of the hardest things for me has been the anxiety. I have NO prior experience with anxiety or depression. The dark moods/thoughts with this and the anxiety have made me feel like I am not “me”. When I go several days with very little sleep, I have to take very small doses of Valium. My adrenaline from not sleeping builds up so much that I pace and cannot sit down. I NEVER took hardly an Advil before this. Worked full time and was at the gym 6x per week.
        I’m sorry I’m not more positive. I’m just being honest. I think time is the only way through this thing and anti-anxiety medicine for lots of the people. Are you on the FB support group? If not, I would stay off. It only made my anxiety worse but that’s me.

        How are you doing?

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      2. Hey JMB,

        For me, the only problem is my dizziness. Other than that, I sleep a lot — maybe too much. I just have this feeling that I’m walking on cotton and this permanent dizziness and that’s what worries me. Although I have very little appetite, I can still force myself to eat. The hot flashes have stopped, and if it weren’t for the dizziness and feeling of cognitive dissonance I think I would be doing OK. But I really empathise with you and I have talked to so many doctors, especially in Tunisia (my father is Tunisian) and apparently they are trying to petition for this drug to be off the market. Apparently, there is a chance the symptoms do get better and I am clinging on to that. As for my anxiety and bouts of depresision, that has been really difficult but some days I manage to forget (it’s been a week since I’ve taken Flagyl), and I do find myself laughing etc. It’s just the dizziness and head spinning and cotton candy feeling (as well as prickling) that worries me.

        Did the neurologist at least acknowledge your symptoms?

        Sina

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      3. JMB, Sina…have you two looked at my Treatment page? JMB, I’ve updated it, I know what’s causing the symptoms, there is treatment, and it’s cheap and about as safe as a treatment can be.

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    2. Hi JMB,
      How are you feeling now?
      Do you have any suggestions on top of what is on this blog?

      I am going to try these supplements and am aware you posted a while ago but would be interested to hear how you’ve gone since you posted? 🙂

      Sophie

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  10. I am so glad I found this page. I took my 3rd course of metronidazole in a year for a recurrent BV infection. The first two times I took it, I felt the normal symptoms (metallic taste, headache, fatigue), but this last time has been an absolute nightmare. It started around day 3 of this med when I woke up in the middle of the night with a startle. It felt like I had a huge adrenaline rush for no reason, followed by an impending sense of doom. I literally thought my heart was going to stop as I was laying in my bed, but I didn’t want to wake up my husband so I just went back to sleep. The next night was the exact same thing. I felt pretty unwell in the morning but thought I was just coming down with a cold or something. I ended up stopping the metro after 4 days but that is where my hell started . I almost passed out picking my kids up from school. I felt make face and hands getting tingly and my breathing was shallow and I couldn’t swallow. I went to the ER and they did bloodwork, an EKG and checked my thyroid and everything was normal.

    Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had ZERO appetite, tiredness, achiness, flu-like symptoms, racing heart and fatigue. I can’t even do minor physical activity (like walking through the grocery store) without feeling like I’m going to pass out. I also have moments of anxiety and panic that I’ve never had before. I’m started to get really worried that these symptoms are permanent. I’ve never been debilitated for this long before and I’m starting to lose hope of getting better. I’ve not had any metro in 2 weeks, but I don’t feel like I’m getting any better. I’ll have moments during the day where I feel almost normal, but then it’s back to feeling deathly ill in a moment. Ive had a couple better days, but it all comes crashing down again when I feel sick again the next morning. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think my doctors believe my symptoms and are just telling me I’m having a “panic attack”.

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  11. I am apparently on the same horrible roller coaster as everyone on here. I was prescribed Metronizole for a bacterial infection in my mouth. I only took 6 days worth of the 10 day script because the mental side effects were really starting to scare me. I couldnt drive, focus, have emotions, eat, and i didnt feel real most of the time. so i thought i would get better once I stopped but the 3 days following my last dose where pure hell…but I stuck it out another week. Then earlier this week I went to my primary doctor to express my concern that the medication did something to me..I was confused almost constantly. She dismissed my concern, said she saw no need for an MRI but said she would do blood work. She said it was just a coincidence and said she would write me a script for the M word medication I keep seeing other people have said they had taken to help but I told her I didnt want to take another medicine if she wasnt going to find out what was wrong so I left. I started to have a lot of difficulting moving, every movement felt really hard and I felt very unstable so I start researching more and discovered lots of reports of lesions on the brain as a result of Metromidozle Toxicty and it made so much since….all of my symptoms matched up perfected to what you listed on here as well as other searches for just brain injury symptoms. So it made me feel better to atleast have a name to the problem even if that meant I still didnt know how long the nightmare would last. Well after reading multiple reports showing that 93%-100% of Metronidolze Toxicity will show lesions on their brain using an MRI I decided I wanted to get an MRI just to put my mind at ease because I had really started to question my sanity. So I printed off multiple studies and went to the ER this morning, I told them my concern and asked if I could get an MRI. The doctor told me he didnt want me to put all my eggs on the Metromidozle basket and wanted to see what else could be causing my symptoms. After checking my blood and urine he came back and said everything was fine so I asked if we could now do the MRI to rule the one thing that matches up perfectly with my syptoms and has been studied and proven in tons of study. He still insisted he didnt think an MRI would do anything and kept steering me away from thinking it was the Metronidolze. He kept telling me that it could be a “self furfilled prophacy” and basically the only thing i could do is try my best to carry on with normal life and hope for a spontanouse recovery. He said the only way I could get an MRI would be to go back to my primary. I left feeling 10 times as crazy and humilated. I have been in tears the last couple of nights because walking as become to difficult. I know that seeing lesions will not make them heal any faster but the visial proof would do worlds for my mental state. I told the doctor I dont understand how I could self manifest symptoms for an issue i didnt know existing if the MRI shows no lesions then at least I know this all a psycatric issue and I need to see my counsler because I am apparently losing my mind. He said he could order a CT scan and if I had any lesions at all the CT scan would show them. I told him a lot of people who had the lesions only saw them on an MRI and I didnt want to waste me time with a CT because I wouldnt believe it anyways. So I am going to call my primary on Monday and demand an MRI. I just want to know for sanity sack…..I just don’t understand any of this. Anyways, thank you for putting together this amazing blog, it has been very helpful.

    Chelsey

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  12. I have been on this antibiotic for 10 days, just got off of it. I have the same effects as many, the loss of appetite, lost 18 pounds in 11 days, headaches, a terrible anxiety and feeling of panic, insomnia and then sleeping all day and evening to be up all early morning in panic. Food tastes and looks unappealing and I really enjoyed food up to taking this medication. Has completely taken over my life which is now no life. Cannot function and just sit and watch TV trying to subdue the anxiety and insomnia. I am hoping this goes away but as I am reading all this it would appear it may taken some lengthy time. Doctor never mentioned these reactions to me and I have never had an antibiotic effect me like this ever before! I am in my early 60’s and it has made my blood pressure go up in the early morning hours when I feel the negative effects the worse.

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    1. Hi, Paul. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner–sometimes I don’t get notified when there are new comments. I’m sorry you’re going through this–all of this sounds like classic metronidazole toxicity. The drug affects the back of the brain, specifically the cerebellum followed by the brain stem. The brain stem controls the autonomic system–aka, all the “automatic” functions of the body. This includes sleep rhythm, your fight-or-flight response. Headaches are also common and anorexia (the loss of the will to eat), is classic metronidazole toxicity.

      Have you looked at my “Treatment” page? It’s not just fancy words–there is a way to recover, and it’s actually pretty cheap and simple. You could go out to your local health food store today and pick up what you need. Just start slow–you don’t want to surprise your system. Good luck.

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  13. Hi Erin.

    Just wanted to give a small update: I went to see an neurologist because I thought I was developing peripheral neuropathy. He believed me re: the Metrodizonale poisoning and prescribed B6 Vitamins, Magnesium, and also gave me a medicine called Tanakan– I don’t know if this will help but I heard Tanakan was going to help bring oxygen to my brain. Thought you guys should know in case this could also help you too.It’s funny because the neurologist kept asking if my drink was also spiked as the symptoms I was describing apparently reminded him of someone who was roofied? He conduced an EEG on me and saw that all was good nerve wise in my brain-hopefully this means the tingling sensation will leave soon. I also did an MRI, which came back clean.

    For me, a lot of the symptoms have disappeared save for the tingling sensation (I also did an allergy to the medicine), the extreme dizziness and cotton headedness. I am hoping that the B6 — I’ve also, Erin, been eating a lot of oranges, flaxseed, walnuts, etc. to help with he deficiency– and magnesium will help.

    Feels good to just discuss with someone who’ll understand,
    Sina

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    1. I don’t know about Tanakan, but if it helps get oxygen to the brain, then it sounds like this doctor understands about adverse drug reactions (hold onto that one!). The only thing I don’t fully understand is the B6, but the magnesium is a definite yes and yes. But I will say this–I highly recommend taking vitamin B1, because it’s my belief that this is the CAUSE of metronidazole toxicity–vitamin B1 deficiency. The symptoms (and even the brain lesions) are identical. There’s a lot of medical literature backing me up, but it’s not something a doctor–any doctor–typically recognizes. Take a look at my blog’s Treatment Page–even show it to your neurologist at your next appointment. Heck, I’ve even had my research published on Hormones Matter and there’s a link on the Treatment page (it’s in that big red paragraph at the top). It is still theoretical, but if I’m right, vitamin B1 treatment (with magnesium) will cure metronidazole toxicity. So…might want to check that out, Sina. 🙂

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      1. Erin, your incredibly calm tone and your positivity is helping me so much more than you can know. I’m looking for B1 Vitamins as we speak. You are incredible, thank you so so so much.

        Sina

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  14. Thank you. I wish you the best of luck, Sina. I really hope it helps you, but nutritional therapy takes longer than pharmaceuticals. It’ll take time, but you should see improvement over the coming weeks. Just commit to it, even if the effects aren’t immediate.

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  15. Hi,

    Quick question Erinl: I currently have 100 mg Thiamin B1 vitamins and 250 mg Magnesium vitamins. If I take both of them every day, is this an effective treatment plan (in addition to Thiamin rich foods) or would you suggest higher doses?

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    1. Hi, Laura. I don’t have a criteria on the magnesium; it’s up to what your body tolerates. If you notice loose stools or upset stomach, scale back some, and build up more slowly to let your body adjust to it.

      As for the thiamine…it depends on what type your taking. Allithiamine should be started at 50 mg’s because it’s a more potent, fat soluble version of thiamine. But then it should be built up over time; in the textbook by Lonsdale and Marrs, they had patients taking as high as 250 mg’s after they built it to that level. That’s high for that version of thiamine.

      If the thiamine you’re taking is water soluble like thiamine HCL or thiamine mononitrate, then no–100 mg’s won’t cut it if you’re having metronidazole toxicity. But it’s not a bad place to start and slowly build up from. I started on 100 mg’s of thiamine mononitrate, then moved up to 200 mg’s after a week, and then switched to thiamine HCL, 300 mg’s after another week. I noticed small improvements after getting up to 200 mg’s, but everyone is different. The reason I think it’s important to start slow is because, if you’re deficient, you could have a temporary, paradoxical reaction (aka, you surprise your body and it doesn’t really know what to do with such high doses of thiamine). So starting slowly will lessen the chance of this happening.

      Your body requires both thiamine and magnesium to live, so these are good things, but the body also likes staying in a state of homeostasis, even if it’s bad for it. When you disrupt that homeostasis, even if what you’re doing is actually good, the body might not like it at first. So start at 100 mg’s of water soluble, build up, and go from there. There are patients in the book who got up to 1200 mg’s thiamine HCL, but I have not and if you decide to “megadose” like that, it’d be a good idea to be supervised by a doctor. But it’s your body–you decide what’s best for you. Good luck!

      Like

      1. Erin,

        Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a considerate and long response. I don’t take it for granted! Basically I have brain fog and although my eyesight is perfect I can’t see very well, as if I were mildly drunk. Not fun, but not as bad as it was in the beginning (it doesn’t help that Im taking another family of antibiotics at the moment because the initial infection I took Flagyl for isn’t cured… life!) Regardless, I am sure that with the right treatment (250 mg of Magnesium + 200 mgs of Thiamine for the moment) and some positivity, I’ll get right back to where I was before. In any case, thank you so much for your help and for doing this– you’ve been a godsend to a ll of us!

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  16. Erin,

    One question– I was feeling completely fine for a week (as in much better) and now it’s like the symptoms came back with a vengeance. What is happening to me? I am panicking and feel this indicates that I will never get out of it. Please, please tell me that thesis not the case.

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  17. A flare up can last for weeks or months. It is possible (although less common) to have a full relapse.

    My theory about this is on my Treatment page; I talk about flare up’s. It’s further down, in bold. It’s on my Homepage, as flare up’s are common and it’s listed under the “Common Questions.”

    I asked you a question–are you supplementing the B1 and mag?

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    1. Erin, Yes I definitely am. 300 grams mag + 200 g Thamine Mononitrate. To be fair, I’ve only started taking these doses for the past 3 days so I’m guessing that improvement will take longer. Do you suggest increasing my dosage or starting off like this is good for now? (Also, despite having visited an opthomologist yesterday my eyesight is really blurry– as if I were drunk. Is this normal/do you think if the toxicity improves this will too?)

      Also, I have read your treatment page over and over again — I just didn’t know they could last for weeks or months!

      Thank you,
      Sina

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      1. 200 mg’s of thiamine is a good start. You probably won’t feel anything for a bit with it, but it’s good to build up so you don’t have a paradoxical reaction. My suggestion is to wait a few more days and then up to 300 mg’s, although I use thiamine HCL. GNC has a 300 mg’s one.

        Do you actually have blurry vision or are you spaced out? Spaced out (aka, brain fog) is very, very common–actual blurry vision is less common, but still possible. Metronidazole can have an affect on vision, but right now, it’s hard to say why it’s causing vision issues, as it the brain fog could be the reason by itself.

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  18. Nutritional therapy is good, but much slower than drug therapy. It will take time and you’ll have to keep upping the thiamine as you go. I got as high as 600 mg’s of thiamine HCL but then switched to Allithiamine, which is a fat soluble version (you body stores it longer and it works better on the brain and nerves). But it’s much stronger, so I’d wait until you’re higher with the other thiamine before switching. Just my recommendation–that’s what I did and it seemed to work.

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    1. Ok, I’ll do that– 300 mg Thiamine + 300 mg of Magnesium . Then hopefully in a few weeks I’ll switch to Althiamine. And no, my vision is definitely blurry. It could be my other antibiotics (I’m taking a new round now).. My ophthalmologist said that when the whole system is tired, so are the eyes.

      I know this is a stupid question, but alcohol is completely ‘prohibited’ during treatment, correct? (Have a few weddings coming up hence why I’m asking)

      Also, Erin, I saw a homeopathic doctor who told me that intermittent fasting could help. Have you heard this before?

      We cannot all thank you enough for the emotional labour, and time, that you are putting into this. There are so many of us who are grateful for this website– you are, quite frankly, an incredible person.

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  19. Tired eyes could be the cause–the extreme fatigue you go through will certainly attribute to it.

    Alcohol during thiamine/magnesium treatment, is that what you mean? I’ve not heard of alcohol harming treatment, except if you’re consuming tons of alcohol on a daily basis (alcoholism) because it’s empty calories. But an interaction? I don’t think so. Now, if you’re on an antibiotic or antidepressant you might want to go to a drug check online and see about interactions (just Google drug checker–drugs.com has a good one).

    I’ve not heard of intermittent fasting helping and I don’t see why it would. If you have a nutritional deficiency, I don’t see how not eating would improve the situation. Most people with MT toxicity are dealing with complete loss of appetite, and not eating hasn’t helped them. But reducing sugar intake, yes. Avoiding coffee and tea right now because they’re thiamine inhibitors, yes. Not forever (I’m drinking coffee again), but not for right now.

    Thank you for the kind words. I hope this helps you as time goes on.

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  20. omg thank God for this blog. i started taking this drug 3 days ago and today im ready to crack it at everyone.I’m a mess.ive spent so much time getting past my anxiety, depression etc and keeping calm, and suddenly i have this anguish again. im scared it will ruin all my hard work…. only 4 more days to go, at least its cleared up the BV.

    never again will i take this drug. my body is too sensitive.

    im glad im not the only one but thank you for this blog. im off to take a valium before i ruin more friendships :/

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    1. Hi, Miss. It is up to you if you want to continue taking the metronidazole, but it sounds like you’re having a bad reaction to it. At the minimum, I’d suggest looking at my Treatment Page, and work on supplementing thiamine and magnesium, now and also after you’re done with the drug. It might take some time before your anxiety issues calm, so be patient with yourself.

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  21. I will say I was on metronidazole for diverticulitis for well over 22 days because the first treatment didn’t work, it’s been since June and now is August 29th and I am fatigued, stomach got better but I had a horrible month of flushing, night sweats, burning up alternating with the chills. Also think something is going on with my hormones. Late menses- any females experience this? I have been exhuasted ever since, though happy my diverticulitis flare up is gone, this is awful.

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    1. These are normal metronidazole toxicity issues, although thankfully it sounds like a milder case (although I know it’s still probably pretty awful). I have a treatment page on this site that talks about some ideas on what to do–it’s not your hormones that are probably out of whack. It’s probably your nutrients.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you! I am having a lot of bloodwork done currently because of this. It’s awful reading what others are dealing with but very important you started a treatment page to support others!

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  22. Thank you so much for all your information.

    I had a stomach bug 6 weeks ago and my doctor couldn’t find out what it was so he prescribed Flagyl. (500mg 3 times a day for 10 days).
    I was able to complete the course however, I had the worst side affects, blurred vision, foggy brain, very fatigue, loose stool, gassy, bloated, muscle twitches, and major aniexty.

    For your recommended treatment, the vitamin shop around me only carried “Magmind L-threonate 2000 MG” will this work for magnesium threonate?
    https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/jarrow-formulas-magmind-l-threonate-2000-mg-90-veggie-caps/jf-1058

    I am also taking GNC VITAMIN B-1 300 M, how much MagMind should I take with B1?
    I’m confused about the MagMind dosage.

    Thank you so much for your advise.

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    1. Just the recommended dose on the bottle for magnesium. If you notice your improvement has slowed or stopped, then up the thiamine, but also up the magnesium a little to compensate. It’s a bit trial and error, even for me, but your body will tell you what to do–symptoms = more B1 and a little more mag. Just build it up slowly, as you want to avoid a paradoxical reaction, as discussed on the Treatment Page. Good luck.

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  23. I took Metronidazole 500mg 2x a day for 7 days for vaginal bacterial infection. I was fine for the first few days but then I started getting raging headaches behind my eyes. That was the least of my problems though. After I finished the medication, I started getting woken up out of my sleep with panic attacks and brain zaps. A few nights later I’d wake up uncontrollably trembelling. I felt as if I was in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Other nights I would have violent dreams. Then symptoms started happening during the day. My body would tremble like I was extremely nervous but there was no reason. My arms would feel heavy and I have muscle twitching frequently. Then the obsessive negative thoughts and depression has hit me hard. I’ve been off of Metronidazole for 2 weeks and I’m really scared a new symptom will arise and that this is going to take over my life. I have read about B1 and magnesium and will start that to see if that helps. I’m on the verge of checking myself into a mental institution. Something is definitely not right. Happy to see I’m not alone.

    Like

    1. I’m sorry for what you’re going through–I’ve been there. If you feel you need to go into a mental institution, that it absolutely up to you, but they will be masking symptoms instead of treating the underlying cause. My personal suggestion (not as a doctor, just as a friend) is to see a psychiatrist to get on a medication to help with your anxiety and also see a functional doctor, because they are more versed in adverse drug reactions and nutritional therapy. Show them my blog, so they can read up on the connection between B1 deficiency and metronidazole–they WILL NOT KNOW it off the top of their heads. If you believe the B1 theory, then start the regimen slowly, as noted on the Treatment page–it will take time, you must be patient. I know you feel awful now, but these symptoms should improve over time, but the sooner you start the B1/mag, the better chance of a full recovery. Good luck and feel better.

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  24. Hello,

    Thankfully stumbled across your blog and feel like it explains everything I am going through, finished a 5 day course of metronidazole about 4 weeks, felt sick while taking it but finished the course. Symptoms got worse 8 days ago, felt like I was going to faint and then felt spaced out, took myself to dr and was told “viral infection”, have had full bloods with nothing shown up expect low Vit D. MRI booked for this sat but Dr keeps asking “are you stressed” which is frustrating as I am stressed and anxious due to my symptoms and no answers.

    Symptoms include –
    Extreme fatigue
    Headache/pressure feeling in back of head
    Spacey feeling/brain fog (feels like I’m dissociated from the world)
    Concentration issues
    Loss of appetite
    Anxiety (maybe more so re symptoms)
    Weight loss
    Change in bowel movements and more.

    It’s nice to know that there are others dealing with this and that over time the symptoms can reduce.

    I will start the supplements you suggested.

    Sophie 🙂

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    1. You doctor, like most doctors, is in denial about adverse drug reactions. Because they don’t believe in them, they want to blame you for your symptoms–hence the, “are you stressed?” scenario. It happens to about 95% of us with metronidazole toxicity, including me. They are clueless when it comes to metronidazole toxicity and most drug reactions, sorry.

      Your symptoms match 100% with classic metronidazole toxicity; I would suggest you look into my Treatment Page. The information is backed up medical literature, but you will have to decide if you agree with it. Regardless, the treatment will take time, so you will have to be patient with yourself, which I know is hard right now. You should see improvement as time goes on. Good luck, hope you feel better.

      Like

      1. Hi I been taking these tablets too a 5 day course for a tooth infection after a few days I’ve had serious nausea and brain fog feeling extremely fatigue, how long will I take for these symptoms to go?

        Like

      2. It’s different for everyone. Some people get better within a few weeks, some a few months, and some it takes even longer. Most people are able to get back to their lives and function within a few weeks to a few months, even if they still have a few symptoms. I would suggest looking at the Treatment Page; the thiamine regimen might speed up recovery. It’s helped me and many others. You can also join our support group (links are on that page).

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  25. Thank you for your reply earlier.
    I am taking GNC VITAMIN B-1 300 MG (1 pill is 300MG) in the mornings however since my body will get rid of the vitamin not being used with such a high dosage.

    I was thinking of taking half a pill (300MG / 2 = 150MG) twice a day to ensure it’s absorbed well.

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    1. Hi, John. Sorry, but you’re missing the point–metronidazole causes thiamine deficiency. The enzymes that absorb thiamine are probably damaged or dysfunctional due to metronidazole and/or the deficiency itself–you need to take high doses just so your body can absorb a normal amount and to reactivate those enzymes that absorb B1 so they can function normally again. You need to over-saturate them. However, I’d suggest to build up your thiamine slowly in order to avoid having a paraodoxical reaction–if the deficiency is great (which, if you’re having neurological symptoms, it is), you will eventually have to take higher doses than just 300 mg’s of thiamine HCL in order to correct it. I’d suggest buying Dr. Lonsdale’s book that’s on my Treatment Page; it goes into all of this and you don’t have to rely on me to interpret it for you.

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  26. 10 day course of Flagyl and Cipro (3 days via IV and 7 days pills). Still have loss of appetite. That’s starting to improve. Experincering muscle weakness/shaking in my legs, arms and at time my whole body depending on how I’m standing or just holding my legs. Could this be from a vitamin B1 defency as well? My physician has tested for B12 and all was fine. It’s there testing for B1 levels?

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    1. Conventional tests for nutrient deficiencies are hardly accurate. They only test what’s in the blood, not in the cell, and that’s where you need to see (and even those tests aren’t all the accurate, either). You will have to base your self-diagnosis on your symptoms. Yes, all your symptoms can be attributed to thiamine deficiency. If you agree, check out the treatment page for more details, then start taking some with magnesium, and see how you feel. It will probably take a while to see any good results–a couple of weeks, if not longer. Several months to feel back to normal. The sooner you address the issue, the better chance of recovery. Good luck!

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  27. This blog has convinced me what I have suspected for 5 weeks. After 2 weeks on this poison (for H Pylori) I was having panic attacks off and on all day, and the worst heart palpitations ever. Now, almost 3 weeks after finishing the meds my anxiety still spikes off the charts for no reason, and I get heart “flutters” several times a day making me feel I’m going to pass out. The doctor of course attributed it all to me existing anxiety disorder. Listen…I know the normal messed-up me, and this is not the normal messed-up me. No doctor will believe me so I am trying to tough it out. Work has been hell, and sleep has been terrible. The only way I have made it thru is with more Xanax than I normally take for anxiety. Talk about taking the Tiger by the tail.

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  28. Here is a link to a very important medical document I uncovered during my research. It describes serious medical events as a result of Metronidazole (Flagyl) toxicity from the manufacturer. Next time a doctor refuses to acknowledge your adverse event following Flagyl use, show him/her this document and watch their faces turn either white with fear, or red from embarrassment. https://jmp.sh/Yb5QsVi

    Now you won’t find these warnings here in the USA, only elsewhere on the planet. That’s because our Food & Drug Administration refused to initiate these warnings from the manufacturer, not because they couldn’t substantiate the claims on the document, but because they are wholly owned and beholden to special interest groups within the Medical Industry & Big Pharma. Did you know that nearly 60% of the FDA’s yearly operating budget comes from the industry they regulate through huge licensing fees? No, then look it up!

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    1. Thank you. I’m actually trying to get a book published about metronidazole toxicity, so I’ve done quite a bit of research into this drug (and adverse drug reactions in general), so I’m aware, but thank you for informing others who will see this blog.

      Like

      1. Hi Erin, No, I seriously doubt you have seen this document before, in fact you said earlier on a different website that you hadn’t. Nevertheless, it is a significant document and should become a part of your book and/or blog. However the story behind this document, what it truly means, along with why and how the FDA refused to add these changes is important to understand before publishing it.

        Kindest regards
        Dennis

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      2. I meant I was aware the FDA is heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry, that’s all. The document you shared is another great example of the drug’s neurotoxicity and follows the same pattern as other documents out there that show this drug’s adverse effects on the brain and nerves. Thank you.

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  29. Erin, Thank you for sharing your experience. My husband is very very ill after being given a combination of Flagyl and Bactrim. His symptoms started the day after completing his antibiotics. When they gave him contrast dyes for a CT he got Tremors for a week. He’s having Hallucinations when he first wakes up. He’s sleeping 1-5 hours each day. Most symptoms start at night for him. He feels like his body is on fire and he is very very restless. He is getting weaker and losing his appetite. My question is, will a normal MRI show lesions on the brain? His doctor just ordered a regular MRI.

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    1. Hi, Susan. Most likely, no–lesions are usually only visible while taking the drug and they are not as prevalent among the metronidazole toxicity community as medical literature seems to think (doctors will only seek out publication of an adverse drug reaction case study IF something shows up on an MRI–if nothing does, then they disregard the idea the drug has caused neurotoxicity). I’m not saying no, but it’s unlikely. That doesn’t mean there’s not a problem; CTE (that brain dysfunction problem among football players) will also not show up on any scans. You have to dissect the brain upon death, so since that’s definitely not an option, it’s only diagnosed by presentation of symptoms.

      As for your husband’s symptoms, they sound like classic metronidazole neurotoxicity. The tremors (I’d say that was probably triggered by the CT contrast, but he was probably on the edge of getting them due to metronidazole–motor control problems are common with this drug and stress can make them flare up). Hallucinations are a symptom, feeling detached from surroundings or his own body, horrible insomnia, neuropathy (the burning sensation) and “restless”–aka, terrible anxiety, panic attacks, adrenaline, no stress threshold. Yeah, all common with this.

      I do have a treatment page; it might help. Neuropathy is harder to treat, I won’t lie, but it’s still possible a lot of these symptoms can resolve or at least improve. If you want to see a doctor, I’d suggest adding a functional or integrative one to your list. And show them this blog–they’re usually more open-minded. Good luck.

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  30. Just received his MRI report. It says a few scattered FLAIR hyperintense foci are noted in the periventricular in deep white matter. Is this the lesions you refer to in your article?

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    1. Hi, Susan. Unfortunately, I’m not a doctor, so it’s difficult for me to say. But I have links to the medical literature I’ve read, including the one about metronidazole central nervous system toxicity, which is the best reference. It has more details about the white matter lesions. The “Here are the Facts” page has all the case studies and reports I’ve gathered.

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      1. Thank you Erin. I have one more question. We have been following your example of dosing with b1. My question is, when you switched to 50 mg.s of allithiamine, did you stop the 450 mg. of thiamine HCL? I’m guessing YES and that allithiamine is stronger b/c you started at 50 mg. I ordered the allithiamine. Gary is on 200 mg. of thiamine HCL right now. Do you advise I work him up to the 450 mgs. before switching him to Allithiamine, or just go ahead and start him on allithiamine when I get. I know you are not a doctor, but need a little help deciphering the dosages and types. Thank you!

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    2. Hi, Susan. It’s a bit trial and error when it comes to dosing–you can try the Allithiamine 50 mg’s and see how he feels on it. I’d suggest stopping the HCL to focus on building up the Allithiamine, eventually getting to higher dosing levels. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to start now–I know people who have just jumped head first with the Allithiamine without building up the HCL version at all and been fine. This is just what I did, building up the HCL first. If he had any paradoxical reaction with the HCL version, then maybe build that up a little more before switching to Allithiamine–otherwise, I’d try it if I were you.

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      1. Thank you!! He’s on lyrica, which has kept the most torturous pain away. Hoping to wean him off it once the B1 starts to heal his nerves. Appreciate you so much!!

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    3. I will tell you, nerves are pretty hard to treat, even with B1. It can help in the long-term and also improve the chance of stopping further nerve damage, but nerves are very slow to heal and sometimes don’t heal all the way. I say this just to have realistic expectations–he might need to stay on the Lyrica, at least for the foreseeable future. I was fortunate not to have serious nerve damage, but for the little bit I do have, I take Doctor’s Best Turmeric (95% Curcumin) and fish oil. Those seem to help with nerve pain and muscle aches, but mine are minor compared to others who have experienced these symptoms.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Thank you so much for pointing me to the information. I printed it out and will discuss it with the neurologist who we will see tomorrow. I’m so glad you wrote these articles in layman’s terms. God Bless you!

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  32. Hi Susan, so sorry to hear about your husband. I too am a victim of Metronidazole toxicity. Back in 2017 I suffered severe damage to many organs, including the brain, inner ear (vestibular network) and both eyes (severe retinal damage with macular pucker). I have severe balance disorder, severe tinnitus, devastating migraine, lightheaded & dizziness, nausea and officially blinded in left eye, now spreading to right eye 24/7. Erin is right, the net is full of complaints as these severe adverse medical events are much greater than they are willing to admit as it would most definitely open the legal flood gates! You may wish to read this document as well and add it to Erin’s fabulous list above. I hope he recovers & soon! https://jmp.sh/JU9Po7V

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  33. Dear Erin,

    Thank you very much for your great research, and guiding to us who suffer from Metronidazole. I think that the pharmacy science should invent a new drug instead of it; these side effects are too dangerous.

    I had experienced great physical exertion during second part of 2018, alongside some anxiety due to another reason, I was seemed to be some sick in middle of December 2018. Possibly experiencing a gastroenteritis due to a common cold affecting my body, a pharmacist gave me Flagyl at the end of December 2018 (besides Ercefuryl, for allowing better liquid absorption through gut). I have used only 8 tablets within 4-5 days, due to being very confused of its declared side effects, and therefore I left the remaining unused. Maybe, being an engineer with good bias toward researching is not so good for psychological health, but being aware is also important. But as of next days, I begun to have much more anxiety, depression, serious insomnia (avg. 1-2 hours of sleep each night), temporary muscle aches, unintended contracting of abdominal muscles, and of course, zero-appetite. Being a conscious man, I ate regularly and on necessary levels despite this zero- appetite. I didn’t lose my weight thanks to this behavior. In beginning of February 2019, a persistent buzz had started in my brain: It is not very annoying, but anyway, it is annoying because it persists. 🙂 After struggling 3 months with this altered mental and physical state, I visited a psychiatrist on middle of March 2019 and she prescribed me Escitalopram (5mg, mornings), Hyosin-N-Butilbromur/Medazepam (for muscle relaxation and reducing anxiety, 20 tablets for 15 days) and Mirtazapine (for insomnia workaround: 3,75 mg per bedtime). For the buzz, she told me that it will go away as it came. This combination worked perfectly until I consumed Medazepam totally, after, I have experienced severe benzo withdrawal, during 2 weeks. Later, I begun to fall gradually. There had been some stressing factors also during this phase, and as the beginning of June 2019, I’m very near to beginning. That stresses may have exhausted again my thiamine reserves. The buzz had retracted a bit, but it is still there. During all these times, I was seriously low on work performance, trying to do it, but usually carrying out works when they become time-critical.

    I was in extensive Google research to restore a good gut flora (sure by relying on reliable resources), because I’m still depressed and I lack serotonin: I was curious of why antidepressants don’t give what I need. I thought that I had destroyed my gut flora with metronidazole, and didn’t just repair the flora by use of probiotics and vitamins, thus they may be “not generating” serotonin. While looking for advices, I have found your work, and I have been impressed. I have read it more that once to understand it at all, and I decided to take your path. Today, I started to use a B-vitamin complex consisting of B1 250 mg|B6 250 mg|B12 1mg. I hope to get better during days. This is the first day and I’m a bit worse, maybe it is according to your “Parallax” theory. I have a pressure in my head. On the other hand, I continue to use Escitalopram and Mirtazapine, which also make some headache.

    Maybe the others may also have this question in their minds: Why we tend to increase the thiamine dosage during the treatment? Can a consistent 250 mg thiamine per day during longer time relieve and resolve these syndromes gradually? Because I couldn’t find Allithiamine to buy or to order and I have may have to use this solution.

    Thank you, again and again.

    Sincerely

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    1. Hi, John. Thank you for sharing your story–it’s, unfortunately, a very common one when it comes to this drug. I wish I had some clinical trials to point to when it comes to the research, but the medical literature will have to suffice. This, of course, means that there could be other means theorized that cause metronidazole toxicity, but metronidazole-induced thiamine deficiency seems to be the most researched and popular theory out there, and it is potentially treatable.

      Moving on…to answer your question, according to Dr. Lonsdale, who wrote the textbook I reference on the blog, when you become severely and/or chronically deficiency in thiamine, the enzymes that absorb the vitamin can deteriorate. This makes them less likely to absorb the sufficient amount required to pull the patient out of the deficiency, especially through just diet alone or a low-dose supplement. It’s also possible that a supplement like Allithiamine (or Lipothiamine) could be more beneficial to regular thiamine like thiamine HCL because Allithiamine and Lipothiamine are fat soluble–they do not require a protein transporter to be absorbed into cells. It makes the dose more potent.

      Due to the enzymes being compromised because of deterioration (or possibly metronidazole damaging them directly, which I think is a possibility), taking in high-doses of thiamine will over-saturate the enzymes and hopefully “wake them up”–again, according to Dr. Lonsdale. Some people might have permanent damage to the enzymes and require high-doses of thiamine daily for the rest of their lives. The milder the deficiency and the sooner the deficiency is corrected will better prevent permanent enzyme damage, but as for myself, I can tell you that–based on my experience with taking 200 to 250 mg’s of Allithiamine daily since November 2017…I do believe I’m in that boat. But since the thiamine doesn’t give me any negative side effects, I have accepted that it’s just part of my life now and that’s okay.

      The thiamine works better on the central nervous system than it does on polyneuropathy. Nerve damage is harder to treat, but from what you’ve described, it sounds like most of your symptoms are brain-related. Having a paradoxical reaction is not unusual (I had a small one starting Allithiamine and 2 months into taking thiamine, I added a B-complex, which made me feel much worse. So I switched back to JUST the Allithiamine and magnesium, and then tried the B-complex again several months later. Now that my thiamine was in a much better place, the B-complex took quite well on the second try). If you notice that your symptoms are worse and the paradoxical reaction doesn’t lessen over a few days, I’d suggest to scale back on the thiamine and then start building it up a little more slowly. Being monitored by a doctor might also be a good idea, but I’d suggest a functional doctor if possible.

      Some people have had great results with oral supplementation–some people have had little to no results. I’ve explained to others that oral supplementation might not be enough if the deficiency is chronic (going on several months, which is your case) and seeing a functional doctor and getting an IV infusion might be in order. Most people choose not to do this; I have not done an IV myself because I’ve had good results with oral supplementation. And this is just what I’ve read; I’m not a doctor. I’m literally just trying to summarize and translate what research I’ve gathered for others.

      However, if the thiamine works, then the enzymes that absorb it will start to react to it, absorb it and hopefully symptoms will slowly improve over time until there’s symptom resolution and the enzymes are healthy again. That’s the goal. I hope it works for you and you don’t give up.

      I’d also suggest you go to YouTube and type in “Dr. Berg, Thiamine” and watch some of his videos. He summarizes B1 deficiency very well and also references Dr. Lonsdale. He also has an interesting YouTube channel anyway.

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