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From: (Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Biaxin/Flagyl combination, bad reaction, I NEED HELP!
Date: 10 Jun 1996

In <4pg5k5$> (Bob Minton)

>In article <4pdl00$>,
>>Help, I was just diagnosed with HP and my doctor prescribed Prilosec,
>>Biaxin, and Metronisazole. I'm not one who likes to take any medicine,
>>but I guess my level measured in my blood was quite high. Can anybody
>>tell me about this infection - what it is, where it comes from, will
>>this cure be permanent, etc. I was out of town when my doctor got my
>>results and now he is gone. I'm a little nervous.
>cause no harm, but I had the same exact combination and had a very
>serious reaction. I am not trying to stop you from taking them, they are
>approved, but while you are taking them be sure someone, a friend or
>family member, asks you every day if you have anything unusual happening,
>expecially dizziness. If you notice any dizziness or tingling in your
>hands or feet, stop taking them and call your doctor immediately. These
>side effects are very rare and most doctors don't tell the patient about
>them, but if you continue taking the drugs there is a very slight chance
>of nerve damage. Hope this doesn't scare you, but you have a right to
>know because I'll bet your doctor didn't tell you!

  Actually, dizziness is quite common with flagyl.  Tingling isn't seen
until you've taken it for quite a while-- weeks at minimum.  That's the
peripheral neuropathy from the drug, and IS rare.  If the drug is
stopped immediately, it clears.  I'm not counting the temporary
tingling from hyperventilation and hysteria from being dizzy, of
course.  As for Biaxin, it has really very few side effects other than
GI problems, unless you happen to be allergic to it.

   I'm really sorry about this guy's experience.  His doctors should
have spent more time with him.  Every doctor in medical school ought to
have to take a partial course of most of the common non-dangerous
drugs, just to see what they do, and what taking them feels like.  From
the nitroglycerin that causes the headaches, to the diuretic that
causes the frantic bathroom trips.  *I* did it as a medical student--
but I was a curious type.  I don't think many of my colleages did.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

From: (Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Giardia/Quinacrine
Date: 07 Dec 1996

In <> (Ray
Barham) writes:

>On 3 Dec 1996 15:16:33 GMT, wrote:
>>Incidentally, I have been told by
>>two people who took it, that Flagyl "wipes out your immune
>>system."  Anecdotal and a bit far-fetched, still two separate people
>>felt this happened to them.  I couldn't find any such references off
>>the net, off medline, etc.  Have any of you heard of this...?
>>				cheers,  Adam
>My wife and I caught giardia in Mexico about 7 years ago.  Back home
>our doctor put us on a DOUBLE dose of Flagyl as in his experience
>giardia ofter reoccured on normal dosage.  We felt like crap for a
>week, the Flagyl poisening things out was about as bad as the
>giardia's effects. It did get rid of it though.  Immune systems?
>Still functioning fine even a double dose didn't wipe ours out.

   Yep.  About the worst permanent effect from Flagyl is a peripheral
neuropathy.  But to get this you have to take it for a LONG time, and
keep taking it well beyond the warning signs (numb feet, etc).  As a
physician I use a lot of metronidazole to treat antibiotic associated
diarrhea, vaginal infections, and H. pylori associated with gastric
symptoms, and I've never seen permanent damage from the stuff.  The
dizziness and the metalic taste and the cross reaction with alcohol can
be upsetting to a lot of people, but in the long run are mostly just an

   Metronidazole, BTW, is a very interesting drug.  It has all kinds of
uses in dermatology which don't have anything clearly to do with its
antibiotic effects.  We've a great deal more to learn about it.

                                      Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: What is Trichomones???? (TRICH.)
Date: 18 Apr 1998 08:31:21 GMT

In <6h8pdh$> (Emma Chase
VanCott) writes:

>	Isn't there a contraindication against drinking alcohol while on
>Flagyl? I seem to recall that.

   Yes, drinking and taking this drug can get you an antabuse-like
reaction, which makes people feel pretty sick for some hours.
Harmless, but no fun.   Metronidazole itself penetrates into the brain
and other body fluids very, very well, and can cause dizziness and a
metallic mouth taste (patients should be warned).  Both are also
harmless, and resolve promptly when the drug is stopped.  A longer term
effect of the drug is peripheral neuropathy, but this resolves if the
drug is stopped when it first appears.  And it's not seen except with
courses much longer than are used for vaginal infections.

                                       Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: how do you solve a problem of anal fistula?
Date: 11 Feb 1999 02:18:00 GMT

<1C057A1255517775.859B6629C16C2948.C5E5C54AB80AC42B@library-proxy.airne> (Jonathan R. Fox) writes:

>On 3 Feb 1999 04:54:44 GMT, B. Harris)
>>In <797ikk$6p1$> "Walter Bernè" <> writes:
>>>I have a fistula from perineum to anus and vulva. I am trying
>>>homeopathy cure, after an ozone therapy. I don't trust in surgery. Any
>>>suggestion or experience?
>>  You might try a longish course of metronidazole from your proctologist,
>>along with topical vitamin A in oil, and vitamin E, both from commercial
>>oil capsules (the E should be tocopherol in oil, but no tocopheryl
>>acetate or succinate). Watch for the neuropathy of the drug-- if the
>>metronidazole is stopped early when your toes start to go numb, damage
>>is reversed and isn't permanent. This is a rare side effect. Mainly the
>>whole thing is benign, and beats surgery if it works. And go on a good
>>multivit with extra C.
>Is this supposed to result in closure of an epitheliazed fistula?  How
>does it work?
>Jonathan R. Fox, M.D.

    Not an epithelialized one, no.  And as for how metronidazole
works-- it's a great mystery.  If you look at the literature on the
stuff, you'll find it's an immune modulator and nitric oxide donor, and
does many odd things for many odd conditions which cannot rationally be
attributed to its efficacy as an antibiotic against anaerobes.  So the
answer is, obviously, that I don't know how it works.

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