Flagyl = adverse reactions / C-Diff = normal with Crohnes?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/17/2009 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Flagyl is giving me a really hard time, hot flashes, heart beating really fast, feels like I'm going mad. eyes Is this normal? Is there a substitute med?
Also, I put a call into my GI for other reasons this morning, testing me for C Diff... has anyone had this ontop of Crohne's?
This is all very overwhelming after living my life at 100mph, career at a national aviation company and goal of law school with work's goals of me leading the future of the company's legal counsel. Dangit this is so debilitating and I'm changing my entire lifestyle and diet with a serious determination to get my life back on track.
This seems like such a wonderful community to be apart of in dealing with all the ins and outs of Crohnes, I look forward to being apart of it :) You all seem so caring, I've been reading posts over the past week or so.
*much love*
dx w/CD finally in July 2009, currently taking pentasa, entocort, cipro, flagyl, probiotics, celexa.
Learning a lot of tips and information by reading your posts - thank you for this forum, I am relieved to feel not alone in fighting this to get my life back.
"My dreams, my terms."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 8/17/2009 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Bella Sky!

Welcome to the Forum! Yes, flagyl has a bad reputation of side effects. It is used on serious infections and works very well. Doctors don't prescribe it lightly. In my opinion, if you have one of those nasty infections, you just need to take the drug (unless the effects are life-threatening, which rarely happens). I was on flagyl and levaquin (cipro's stronger cousin) for many. many months, so I know what I am talking about. It really helped me when I found out about flagyl's side effects -- hyper-emotionalism, anxiety -- and it wasn't just me completely loosing it! Here is a website where you can read other people' experiences. Some think it is from the devil, while others love it because it saved them (but they still hate it). I am in the later category.


Take care!
Diagnosed with Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 8/17/2009 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I believe there are quite a few bad side effects with Flagyl..it gave me horrible diarrhea and bad joint pain..so bad i cried when i would have to move around..it felt like I had the flu. I would call the doctor right away..maybe their is a way you can go down on the dosage..because it sounds you are having a miserable time and i feel for you. their are different medications..i am sure they can have another solution for you. You are right..this is a great community to belong to..lots of nice people..its something to be thankful for. I hope you find relief and are feeling better..let us know how things turn out. Take care!

Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/20/2009 7:14:19 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 8/18/2009 12:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a terrible time with Flagyl too. I'm on Cipro again now... Though it worries me. Personally I had a terrible reaction to the combination of Cipro and Flagyl a few months ago. I got to the point that I had zero warning and totally watery bms. It was out of control. (Normal life is never "normal" but that was the worst experience I've had with Crohn's, aside from bleeding out.) It all ended with 5 days in the hospital.

Make sure you take probiotics a couple hours before each Flagyl dose. I knew to do this and was a slacker. I would take them, but not as much as I took the antibiotics. I paid a high price for that error.

FallColors is right, though. If you've been told to take the meds, you should follow the orders. It's a terrible med, but it helps many people. Just keep a watch on the side effects and keep your doctor informed.

Good luck!
PS- I thought for certain I had c-diff.  But, three tests proved not. 

--female dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 8/18/2009 4:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Flagyl gave me the situation I have had for over 2 years - daily watery D and abdominal yuckiness. Tests show it is not C-diff.
23 years of UC which started after quitting smoking. In and out of flares which are usually triggered by antibiotics. Latest issue is endless diarrhea without blood or mucous.


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 8/18/2009 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi. My husband had c-diff on top of crohn's which landed him in the hospital for 45 days (mostly because his crohn's was as yet undiagnosed, so they weren't treating the crohn's aggressively). For the c-diff, especially because he was immunosuppressed (he was on 120 mgs of solumedrol, and on remicade for the crohn's), they had him take both flagyl (3 times a day) and vancomycin (250mgs 4 times daily). I think the flagyl gave him some abdominal cramping, etc. When he dropped to 40mgs of prednisone, he stopped the flagyl and stayed on just the vancomycin. It was only after completely stopping the steroids that he could get off the vancomycin without a recurrence of c-diff.

If you do have c-diff, I recommend 2 supplements that my husband takes to keep the c-diff at bay (and also to kick it) - florastor (with is saccromyces boullardi - a yeast known to fight c-diff), and vsl3 (a probiotic supplement to keep healthy flora in his gut).

Flagyl can have some serious side effects - please do let your doctor know about the side effects you are experiencing. Also, the fast heartrate may not have anything to do with the flagyl - it could just be because of the pressure your body is under. I know when my husband was really sick, he had tachycardia, without taking any flagyl - heartrate laying down would be about 100. It can also be a sign of dehydration. So, drink plenty of fluids to keep well hydrated, and get lots of rest, and do consult your doc.

Hope this helps,
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, and in crohn's remission, knock on wood

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 8/18/2009 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Yep - I have had C-Diff in combo with my Crohns - my GI told me it is quite common with Crohnies - or at least we can tend to be pre-disposed to getting it....in my last case it was because I had an abcessed tooth and the specialist dentist prescribed me a very strong antibiotic that Crohn's paitients should NEVER take - which my GI yanked me from about 5 days after he found out I was on it ....so much fun!!!
Flagyl gave me horrible D - I was on Flagyl for 3 months, the C-diff cleared up within about 3-4 weeks, but the GI kept me on Flagyl with the combo of Levaquin for the Crohn's Flare.
After being on the Flagyl for 3 months I started to get tingling in my feet on and off which is a side effect of it going to a toxic point so my GI yanked it, kept me on the Levaquin for another few months until the Crohn's flare finally settled down (of course with the help of Entocort and Immuran). 
Diagnosed with Lupus - April 2002
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (and all the lovely things that come with it) - January 2003 (problems since early 1990)
Fibromyalgia 2005 
Normal Meds:  Ambian 10mg, Flexeril 10mg as needed, Plaquenil 400mg, MTX 25mg Injection, Probiotics
"Extras" Right Now for Crohn's Flare:  Pred 5mg, Entocort 9mg

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/19/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the insight and advice!! I was negative for C-Diff and spoke with my doctor about how adverse my reaction was to Flagyl. She recommended I stop taking it and she is going to try to pull strings to get my insurance to approve remicade infusions starting as early as next week. Just went for the TB PPD test today to prep. Getting this into remission the fastest possible way is my goal and thank GOD I finally am blessed with a doctor that has the same goals. Thanks again!
dx w/CD finally in July 2009, currently taking pentasa, entocort, cipro, flagyl, probiotics, celexa.
Learning a lot of tips and information by reading your posts - thank you for this forum, I am relieved to feel not alone in fighting this to get my life back.
"My dreams, my terms."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/19/2009 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
The Florastor for controlling C diff is a yeast and is not killed by antibiotics, so it is a good thing to take during the antibiotic course. Most other probiotics are killed by antibiotics, so you need to take them daily or perhaps a couple of times a day. If possible, you should take your probiotic a few hours after the last antibiotic dose at night and a few hours before the first dose in the morning. This may not work with the schedule for your antibiotics, but it is a good idea if you can do it. For the flagyl associated diarrhea, the bacteria in Culturelle have been shown to be helpful, so that one might be good to take as well as the Florastor.

Post Edited (Keeper) : 8/20/2009 12:09:56 AM (GMT-6)

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