Neurologic Complications of Metronidazole

ArticleinThe Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques 40(6):768-776 · November 2013with11 Reads
DOI: 10.1017/S0317167100015870 · Source: PubMed
Metronidazole (Flagyl®) is an antimicrobial agent commonly used in clinical practice. Although it is generally well tolerated with minimal side effects, there are a host of still under-recognized neurologic complications of metronidazole treatment. The following review is aimed at summarizing current literature pertaining to metronidazole-induced neurotoxicity including clinical syndromes, neuroradiological findings, prognosis and proposed pathophysiology. Recognition of the neurotoxic effects of metronidazole is critical as prompt discontinuation is generally associated with full clinical recovery and radiological resolution.
    • "There are several reports describing cases with cerebellar ataxia in association with the use of antimicrobials [253– 275]. Ataxia caused by metronidazole was often related to high cumulative doses [276]. Patients presented with dysarthria and ataxia, and hyperintensities in the cerebellar nuclei and cerebellar white matter have been described on MRI T2. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: Cerebellar ataxia can be induced by a large number of drugs. We here conducted a systemic review of the drugs that can lead to cerebellar ataxia as an adverse drug reaction (ADR). Methods: We performed a systematic literature search in Pubmed (1966 to January 2014) and EMBASE (1988 to January 2014) to identify all of the drugs that can have ataxia as an ADR and to assess the frequency of drug-induced ataxia for individual drugs. Furthermore, we collected reports of drug-induced ataxia over the past 20 years in the Netherlands by querying a national register of ADRs. Results: Drug-induced ataxia was reported in association with 93 individual drugs (57 from the literature, 36 from the Dutch registry). The most common groups were antiepileptic drugs, benzodiazepines, and antineoplastics. For some, the number needed to harm was below 10. Ataxia was commonly reversible, but persistent symptoms were described with lithium and certain antineoplastics. Conclusions: It is important to be aware of the possibility that ataxia might be drug-induced, and for some drugs the relative frequency of this particular ADR is high. In most patients, symptoms occur within days or weeks after the introduction of a new drug or an increase in dose. In general, ataxia tends to disappear after discontinuation of the drug, but chronic ataxia has been described for some drugs.
    Article · Nov 2014
    • "With these arguments and lacking further evidence highlighting the importance of anaerobic bacteria in our study population, the use of ''specific'' antianaerobic antibiotics like metronidazole or clindamycine cannot be recommended in these patients. This becomes even more important when considering the potential side effects of metronidazole [32, 33]. Candida species were isolated in a significant number of cases in our study. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of protective airway reflexes in patients with acute coma puts these patients at risk of aspiration pneumonia complicating the course of the primary disease. Available data vary considerably with regard to bacteriology, role of anaerobic bacteria, and antibiotic treatment. Our objective was to research the bacteriology of aspiration pneumonia in acute coma patients who were not pre-treated with antibiotics or hospitalized within 30 days prior to the event. We prospectively analyzed 127 patient records from adult patients admitted, intubated and ventilated to a tertiary medical intensive care unit with acute coma. Bacteriology and antibiotic resistance testing from tracheal aspirate sampled within 24 h after admission, blood cultures, ICU scores (APACHE II, SOFA), hematology, and clinical chemistry were assessed. Patients were followed up until death or hospital discharge. The majority of patients with acute coma suffered from acute cardiovascular disorders, predominantly myocardial infarction, followed by poisonings, and coma of unknown cause. In a majority of our patients, microaspiration resulted in overt infection. Most frequently S. aureus, H. influenzae, and S. pneumoniae were isolated. Anaerobic bacteria (Bacteroides spec., Fusobacteria, Prevotella spec.) were isolated from tracheal aspirate in a minority of patients, and predominantly as part of a mixed infection. Antibiotic monotherapy with a 2nd generation cephalosporin, or a 3rd generation gyrase inhibitor, was most effective in our patients regardless of the presence of anaerobic bacteria.
    Article · Aug 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease is thought to be caused by an aberrant immune response to gut bacteria in a genetically susceptible host. The gut microbiota plays an important role in the pathogenesis and complications of the two main inflammatory bowel diseases: Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis. Alterations in gut microbiota, and specifically reduced intestinal microbial diversity, have been found to be associated with chronic gut inflammation in these disorders. Specific bacterial pathogens, such as virulent Escherichia coli strains, Bacteroides spp, and Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, have been linked to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Antibiotics may influence the course of these diseases by decreasing concentrations of bacteria in the gut lumen and altering the composition of intestinal microbiota. Different antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, the combination of both, rifaximin, and anti-tuberculous regimens have been evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. For the treatment of active luminal CD, antibiotics may have a modest effect in decreasing disease activity and achieving remission, and are more effective in patients with disease involving the colon. Rifamixin, a non absorbable rifamycin has shown promising results. Treatment of suppurative complications of CD such as abscesses and fistulas, includes drainage and antibiotic therapy, most often ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, or a combination of both. Antibiotics might also play a role in maintenance of remission and prevention of post operative recurrence of CD. Data is more sparse for ulcerative colitis, and mostly consists of small trials evaluating ciprofloxacin, metronidazole and rifaximin. Most trials did not show a benefit for the treatment of active ulcerative colitis with antibiotics, though 2 meta-analyses concluded that antibiotic therapy is associated with a modest improvement in clinical symptoms. Antibiotics show a clinical benefit when used for the treatment of pouchitis. The downsides of antibiotic treatment, especially with recurrent or prolonged courses such as used in inflammatory bowel disease, are significant side effects that often cause intolerance to treatment, Clostridium dificile infection, and increasing antibiotic resistance. More studies are needed to define the exact role of antibiotics in inflammatory bowel diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016