Research Article

Rectal administration of metronidazole in severely ill patients.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 30 July 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:311
  1. E M Barker,
  2. J M Aitchison,
  3. J S Cridland,
  4. L W Baker


    Ten severely ill patients with life threatening sepsis received metronidazole as suppositories and blood concentrations of the drug were measured twice daily over five days. Therapeutic blood concentrations of metronidazole were maintained at all times in all patients. Rectal administration of metronidazole is accepted as effective prophylaxis against infection associated with surgery and as treatment of established infection. This study shows that in gravely ill patients metronidazole administered as suppositories gives perfectly adequate therapeutic serum concentrations of the drug, but that to achieve these concentrations rapidly the first suppository should be given with an intravenous loading dose.