Clinical Uses

Metronidazole is the most effective agent available for the treatment of individuals with all forms of amebiasis, with perhaps the exception of the person who is asymptomatic but continues to excrete cysts. That situation calls for an effective intraluminal amebicide, such as diloxanide furoate, paromomycin sulfate, or diiodohy-droxyquin. Metronidazole is active against intestinal and extraintestinal cysts and trophozoites.

Although quinacrine hydrochloride has been used for the treatment of giardiasis, many physicians prefer metronidazole. Furazolidone is an alternate choice.

Metronidazole is the drug of choice in Europe for anaerobic bacterial infections; concern about possible carcinogenicity has led to some caution in its use in the United States. Recently it has been found to be effective in treating D. medinensis (Guinea worm) infections and Helicobacter pylori.

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