Flagyl is the brand name of the antibiotic metronidazole. It is a widely used antibiotic for killing bacteria that are anaerobic, or that don’t grow well in oxygen environments. It is cheap, available in both intravenous and pill form, and effective. For these reasons it is often used in emergency rooms in trauma patients and patients with perforated bowel. In addtion, patients are often sent home from the hospital on this drug.
One problem with Flagyl, however, is that if it is given to a patient that has been drinking or a patient on this drug takes alcohol, it is possible they will develop severe nausea and multiple episodes of vomiting. This is called the Antabuse reaction because it is a similar reaction that occurs when alcoholics take Antabuse to prohibit themselves from drinking as any alcohol taken after Antabuse makes patients very ill.