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What's the story with Flagyl

Hi Everyone,

Our 10 year old son has received a 'highly likely' diagnosis of Crohns.

He has had a perianal fistula, abcess and fissures on and off over the past 3 months and ended up in emergency surgery. Biopsy results show 'chronic inflammation suggestive of IBD and in keeping with Crohns'. We are waiting for the referral to get all the scopes done now.

We are still hoping it's a fluke, especially because he has really good days where nothing seems wrong with him. He is currently on Flagyl and another antibiotic for a week because his fistula flared up and he ran a fever over the weekend - And for the first time in 3 months, he says he has no pain!!!

What's the story with Flagyl? Is it magic? I thought antibiotics can't help with inflammation, just bacterial. Has anyone else had really good results with it? Can it heal his bottom completely?


my little penguin

Staff member
Flagyl works but can’t be used long term —it will do damage .
Short courses are ok
Crohns waxes and wanes
Inflammation will come back unless there is maintenance meds on board
Immunosuppressants (methotrexate which is used in kids as young as 2 in juvenile arthritis)
Or biologics
Fistulas typically go straight to remicade .
My kiddo started remicade at age 8
Yes it’s an infusion and sounds scary but
It does an amazing job
So, when my son was diagnosed with Crohn’s and an abscess, he was immediately put on flagyl (metronidazole) and given a feeding tube, and by the next day there was already a huge improvement (abdominal pain nearly gone).

This led me to be very positively inclined toward antibiotics for treatment, and so we tried metronidazole a few more times later on as well as some other antibiotics.

Unfortunately, results were never quite like that first time. However, we did notice that amoxicillin definitely caused a significant reduction in pain multiple times, at least in the short term.

Will antibiotics fix the Crohn's and eliminate inflammation? Probably not. But in my experience they can be helpful in addition to other treatments, at least in the short-term. I doubt you'll continue to get much benefit from staying on them for more than a month.

However, I recommend *against* metronidazole (at least after the abscess is gone). Metronidazole has a lot of side effects--it causes nausea and bad taste in the mouth, it causes peripheral neuropathy, and there are some questions about it possibly being carcinogenic. I think you'll get most of the same benefits from amoxicillin or other much milder antibiotics.