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Metronidazole (Molecule of the Month for June 2006)

Flagyl, Rozex, MetroGel

Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antibiotic drug used in the treatment of infections caused by susceptible organisms particularly anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. An anaerobic organism does not require oxygen for growth.

Within anaerobic bacteria and sensitive protozoal cells, the nitro group of metronidazole is chemically reduced by ferredoxin (or ferredoxin-linked metabolic process). The reduction products appear to be responsible for killing the organisms by reacting with various intracellular macromolecules by interfering with DNA synthesis.

Consumption of alcohol should be avoided by patients during systemic metronidazole therapy and for at least 24 hours after completion of treatment. Taking metronidazole and alcohol results, rarely, in a disulfiram-like reaction (nausea, vomiting, flushing, tachycardia).

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Metronidazole

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Metronidazole structure
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Picture of Metronidazole


Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for June 2006 )