According to Drugs.com, Flagyl is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections in the stomach, vagina, joints, respiratory tract and skin. The active antibiotic ingredient in Flagyl is metronidazole, according to RxList.com.
Flagyl is taken orally to treat a range of bacterial infections. Drugs.com explains that Flagyl is ineffective for treating vaginal yeast infections and viral infections. Flagyl may be inappropriate for those with liver disease, stomach disease, blood disorders, epilepsy or nerve disorders. Patients with these conditions should consult with a health care professional before taking Flagyl.
RxList.com details side effects of Flagyl, including numbness or tingling of the extremities, sores in the mouth and lips, painful urination, diarrhea, mood changes and vision difficulty. Drugs.com further details side effects of increased heart rate, warmth under the skin and nausea or vomiting. Flagyl can pass to babies through breast milk, so Drugs.com recommends that mothers who are breastfeeding consult their physicians before taking Flagyl.
As with any antibiotic, completing the full prescription of Flagyl is recommended even if symptoms subside before the prescription is complete. Drugs.com explains that stopping before the end of the prescribed time leaves the patient more susceptible to relapse of the infection. Failure to take the full course of the medication has the potential to spur development of antibiotic-resistant strains of infections.