What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole: Steer Clear of the Side Effects


Metronidazole is a prescribed antibiotic medicine that can help us with various ailments. It is often effective during anaerobic bacteria infections. When taking a course of this medication, we need to understand that this wonder drug comes with a downside. The potential food interactions can be problematic as they can bring side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Moving forward in this blog, we are trying to delve into an important question that has been repeatedly asked over the internet: “What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole.”

To give you a heads-up, alcohol should be strictly avoided if you are on a metronidazole antibiotic course. Taking alcohol with the medicine can give rise to side effects like nausea and rapid heart rate. This guide will thoroughly explain the dos and don’ts of taking metronidazole.  

What is Metronidazole and How Does it Work?

What is Metronidazole and How Does it Work?
What is Metronidazole and How Does it Work?

When we talk about metronidazole immediately, we know we are discussing a potent antibiotic, which is a prescribed medicine. It acts on various kinds of bacterial and parasitic infections. Let us understand when and how it is used.

1. Works on Anaerobic Bacteria and Protozoa

  • Metronidazole is effective in treating bacterial infection, particularly of anaerobic bacteria. These kinds can be much more complicated as they can survive with very little or even no oxygen.
  • The medicine is also effective against certain protozoa, which are single-celled organisms known for spreading infections.

2. Mechanism

  • To simplify the work mechanism of metronidazole, it works on the DNA of the microorganism. 
  • By interfering with the DNA synthesis of these microorganisms, it ultimately kills the infection-causing microorganism. 
  • The activated form of metronidazole prohibits them from replicating. This action reduces the population of bacteria or protozoa. 

3. Selective Toxicity

  • This nature makes it a wonder medicine as it shows toxicity only to the DNA of microorganisms.
  • While doing it, it has a minimal impact on human cells. The selective nature of the medicine increases its efficacy in targeting microorganisms.

4. Other Uses

  • The medicine has various other uses, and it can be prescribed in

A. Dental Infection

  • It can be a prescribed medicine for various dental infections, which are mainly caused by anaerobic bacteria.

B. Bacterial Infections

  • They are used to treat infections in the pelvic area, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory tract.
  • The medicine is effective if anaerobic bacteria cause these infections.

C. Protozoal Infection

  • Metronidazole has shown its effectiveness against certain infections related to protozoa.
  • It can also treat infections like giardiasis, which is a type of intestinal infection caused by Giardia lamblia, and amoebiasis, which is an intestinal infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica.

Must Read: Foods to Avoid When Taking Hydroxyurea: The Importance of Dietary Awareness

What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole

What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole
What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole

This section will deal with the main essence of this blog, which is to find out: “What Foods to Avoid While Taking Metronidazole.” Until now, we know that it is a prescribed antibiotic medicine that is mainly used to subside the infection caused by anaerobic bacteria or protozoa.

The medicine comes with some downsides, too, as it can potentially react with certain food items and cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate.

1. Say No to Alcohol

  • One of the worst combinations that can result in a series of side effects like nausea, vomiting, flushing, and rapid heart rate.
  • It is recommended that one should wait at least 48 hours after finishing the course of metronidazole.

2. Avoid Grapefruit or Its Juice

  • It was believed that certain medications could interact with grapefruit and cause disruption in metabolism.
  • However, metronidazole is not known to interact directly with grapefruit or its juice.
  • It is advised to check with the healthcare provider and ensure that there are no contradictions.

3. Caffeine

  • It is highly unlikely, but certain people feel more sensitive toward caffeine if they are on an antibiotic course of metronidazole.
  • Your doctor may recommend you minimize the daily caffeine intake to avoid complications.

4. Highly Acid Food and Beverage

  • If we are on the antibiotic course of metronidazole, we should avoid acidic food and beverages, especially those that are citrus.
  • It is common to experience an upset stomach if we are not eating a balanced diet and are taking highly acidic food or drinks.

5. Dairy Products

  • If we believe some sources, metronidazole should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking dairy products.
  • This is done as calcium found in dairy products can interfere with the absorption of metronidazole. Interference can lower the efficacy of the medicine.

6. Banana

  • Bananas have tyramine content, but in limited amounts, potentially react with metronidazole and cause problems. One can feel it as one’s blood pressure rises.
  • Want to know more about: “Why Can’t You Eat Bananas with Metronidazole.

What Happens When We Take Propylene Glycol with Metronidazole

What Happens When We Take Propylene Glycol with Metronidazole
What Happens When We Take Propylene Glycol with Metronidazole

Propylene glycol is generally considered safe in the amount found in medications and food items when used as directed. It can sometimes be used as a solvent in certain medications, including some formulations of metronidazole.

The combination of propylene glycol with metronidazole is well-tolerated for most people. It is used to increase the solubility and absorption of certain drugs.  

1. Allergic Reactions

  • In some rare cases, when the person is found sensitive towards the use of metronidazole, they could experience some side effects.
  • All these possible side effects fall under the bracket of allergic reactions. A patient can feel itching, swelling, redness, and, in the worst case, breathing difficulties.
  • This food additive can be found in many beverages and food, which include flavored iced tea, frosting, and baking mixes.

2. Healthcare Experts Advice

  • It is recommended to consult a healthcare expert if any of the symptoms persist.
  • Always follow the guidelines given by your doctor. As they know everything about your health and better understand sensitivities.

Words of Wisdom

Please remember that all the facts discussed and the information shared with the help of this blog serve as a helpful starting point. Nothing can give you a better insight than a healthcare expert on any situation. We recommend getting yourself checked in for a medical examination and following the advice of your doctor, as they will be tailored to your needs.


This study has dealt with the following: “What foods to avoid while taking metronidazole.” In the journey to discover more about antibiotic medicine, we have found out the uses and potential side effects that can happen to anyone. In conclusion, being mindful of the things that we include in our daily diet seems very essential as we are on the antibiotic course of metronidazole. As discussed, the first and foremost thing is to have a strict ban on alcohol consumption, as it can trigger various unwanted side effects that may include nausea and vomiting. The second is to avoid highly acidic food or beverages if we want to stay away from stomach upsets. It is highly recommended to consult a healthcare expert to address any concerns regarding the use of metronidazole and combining it with specific foods.

Mansi Balodi
Mansi Balodihttps://scriptedsoul.com
My life is always on a run but I try to find time for myself to let my wisdom and knowledge help and guide you. In my blogs, I will try to demystify the complexities of topics and will connect with you with ease of understanding. So let's explore the treasure of the world with words.

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