Take tinidazole tablets during or straight after a meal.
Keep taking the tablets until the course is finished.
Do not drink alcohol while you are on tinidazole, or for three days afterwards.
|Type of medicine||An antimicrobial medicine|
|Used for||To treat infection and before surgical operations to prevent infection|
Tinidazole is used to treat a variety of infections which can be caused by types of germs known as anaerobic bacteria and micro-organisms (protozoa). These types of organisms often cause infections in areas of the body such as the gums, the pelvic cavity, and the tummy (abdomen) because they do not need oxygen to grow and multiply. It is also prescribed before gynaecological surgery and surgery on the intestines, to prevent infection from developing. Tinidazole can be taken by people who are allergic to penicillin.
Occasionally, tinidazole is also prescribed as part of a treatment to get rid of Helicobacter pylori. This is a bacterial infection which is often associated with stomach ulcers.
Before taking tinidazole
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tinidazole it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you drink a lot of alcohol.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take tinidazole
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about tinidazole, and will also provide you with a full list of side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to; the dose you are given will depend upon what type of infection you have. As a guide, a single dose of four tablets taken at the same time is sufficient for most vaginal or dental infections in adults. For other bacterial infections, you are likely to be asked to take a course of treatment which could last up to seven days. Your doctor will tell you what dose is right for you (or your child) and this information will also be printed on the label of the pack of tablets to remind you about what the doctor said.
- Keep taking the tablets every day until the course is finished (unless your doctor tells you to stop sooner). This is because your symptoms could return if you stop taking tinidazole before the end of the course.
- Take the tablet at a mealtime, or with a snack. Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. Do not chew or break the tablet before you swallow it.
- Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take tinidazole regularly. If you do forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the forgotten dose from the previous day and take the dose that is due as normal. Do not take two doses on the same day to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Important: do not drink alcohol while you are on tinidazole and for three days after finishing your course of treatment. This is because drinking alcohol with tinidazole is likely to make you feel very sick and cause other unpleasant effects.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with tinidazole. Some cough and cold preparations contain alcohol and should not be taken with the tablets.
- If you need to take tinidazole for longer than ten days, your doctor will want you to have some tests. Make sure you keep any appointments that your doctor gives to you.
- This medicine can stop the oral typhoid vaccine from working properly. If you are due to have any vaccinations, make sure the person treating you knows that you are taking tinidazole.
Can tinidazole cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains the most common ones associated with tinidazole. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any continue or become troublesome.
|Common tinidazole side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting), stomach pain, diarrhoea||Stick to simple foods - avoid hot or spicy meals|
|Headache||Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know|
|Lack of appetite||This should soon pass, but in the meantime choose food that you usually enjoy|
|A spinning sensation (vertigo), itchy skin rash||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store tinidazole
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
; Pfizer Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2016.
; British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.