Metronidazole And Vaping – Check Your Medicines

It was only by chance I discovered a potential link between Metronidazole and Vaping, so I thought it was worth sharing as a reminder to check any prescription medicine for potential interactions with eliquid ingredients. As a relatively new technology, many healthcare professionals aren’t necessarily aware they might need to warn vapers of any potential risks.

The issue came to light after a recent visit to my dentist. I’d been prescribed a short course of metronidazole and warned strongly to avoid alcohol. The reaction between the two is strong enough that you’re advised to even stay away from mouthwashes and cough remedies that contain alcohol. And to stick clear of it for 48 hours after your course of treatment has ended to allow the antibiotic to clear your system. Which is a bit depressing when it coincides with a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, but fair enough.

What I didn’t know until I happened to check online is that there’s also a potentially similar effect between metronidazole and propylene glycol. Which is a big ingredient in vaping liquids, sometimes along with ethanol.


Metronidazole And Vaping - Check Your Medicines Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Most of the reports were via vaping forums. But there is also medical information regarding the interaction between metronidazole and propylene glycol. For example, the antibiotic is often supplied under the tradename Flagyl by Pfizer. And they supply some information suggesting propylene glycol carries the same risks as consuming alcohol.

Of course propylene glycol is found in lots of places, including alcohol-free mouthwash, for example. So that’s handy.

And further research only gets more complicated.

I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I’m also not a scientist. So the summary of the following is to simply do your own research and have that alongside the best advice from qualified medical sources (your doctor, dentist, pharmacist etc).

But it appears that the link between metronidazole and alcohol has varying effects, and some exceptions. So it might be that there’s a genetic or other reason why it’s potentially terrible for some people, and yet others can apparently drink without incident. Either way, you don’t really want to use yourself as a test subject.

And as the risk for propylene glycol appears to come from the same process as alcohol, in that metronidazole has an effect on the body metabolising it, then it’s potentially the case that not every vaper would experience the same level of effects.

There’s also more complications, in that the consumption of PG will vary between eating/drinking it, and how much is actually absorbed whilst vaping, the amount in your choice of liquid, and how regularly you vape during the day etc.

I spoke to my dental practice, who weren’t aware propylene glycol was a potential issue present in vaping liquid. I talked to my pharmacist who suggested quitting vaping for 24 hours before starting the course of metronidazole. And I chatted with a few people online, including some health professionals who happen to be friends.

In the end, I picked up a few packs of the tiny nicotine lozenges at the lowest strength available (After getting down to 3mg vape liquid, I don’t want to build up my nicotine addiction again). And then tried to vape as little as possible for 24 hours while using the lozenges.

I only had a 3 day course of metronidazole, so figured the build-up of propylene glycol shouldn’t be too bad. So I simply used lozenges as much as possible, and had a very occasional vape when the psychological addiction was really getting to me. On the first day I had approximately 10 inhales (compared to probably 10 an hour normally!), and no ill effects. By the third day, I was up to around 30 inhales, and still feeling fine. The lozenges were a bit of a hassle, but interestingly they felt a lot easier and more effective than when I tried using them to quit smoking directly.


The TL:DR Advice:

None of this is meant to be advice for anything relating to consuming propylene glycol, alcogol or vaping whilst on metanidazole or any other prescription medication.

The only advice I would say is that if you regularly vape, it’s worth checking for any possible interactions with anything you’re currently taking or prescribed in the future. As even if your doctor or dentist knows you vape (as mine did), they may not know what ingredients it involves. And then you can raise it as needed, do some research, and make the best decisions to minimise the risks and side effects.



8 Months With Vaping, Not Smoking

It’s just about 8 months since I switched from smoking to vaping. I changed to stop my health declining, to avoid harming those around me, and to be able to lose the smell of old tobacco whereever I went after two decades of Marlboro abuse.

Last time I updated was just after my 40th birthday. Since then a few things have changed. I’ve moved house to be closer to my son, which meant packing up everything I owned and renting a property for the first time in years. It’s also meaned relocating my business, and starting to build up a new client base in Peterborough for the first time since I left about 7 years ago. I’ve got back involved with both Digital People in Peterborough and Peterborough STEM Festival. And most unexpected – I’ve been lucky enough to start a new relationship with a wonderful lady who is understanding, supportive and just all-around lovely. As a bonus, not only do we have similar interests, but we also both run similar businesses, so there’s a good understanding when one or both of us is sat at a laptop at 11.59pm on a Saturday night working on something important.

I’ve also learned and reinforced a few things about vaping.

  • Finding good local shops for advice is always handy. Big thanks to the friendly staff at The Vape Project in Werrington Centre, Peterborough, and the Central Vape Shop in Peterborough city centre.
  • Switching brands means experimenting with new flavours. I’d been using Ultimate for ages, and switching to different brands means that some flavours, like Blackcurrant, just didn’t work at all from a different company. In fact, it was pretty awful. Fortunately, I’ve now discovered a new selection that works – current favourites include Zeus Juice ‘The Black’ blackcurrant and menthol (despite hating menthol flavours usually), Nasty Juice Green Mango, and Dream Mist Peach and Pineapple Coconut Rum….
  • Check before buying and fitting the wrong ohm coils. I wondered why one vape kit seemed utterly clogged and useless before finally spotting I’d bought 1.6 coils, not the usual 1.8 or 0.7. After adjusting the wattage on the kit, they were usable again, if not as nice as the others…
  • Don’t fit an old, loose 1.8 coil you have laying around at the bottom of an old box, because it turns out you probably swapped it out a while ago because it was worn out…
  • Expect that sons and girlfriends will take an increasinly active role in dictating what flavours you are allowed to vape around them – even if you don’t vape near them.
  • And try not to get annoyed at all of the misinformation about vaping. Cancer Research in the UK has been sharing advice about using vaping to quit smoking, and every post gets endless Facebook comments about myths and half-truths. I’m not a doctor or health expert, but I’ve put in substantial time to read as much of the available medical research online etc, and there’s a wide and well supported body of evidence for the benefits when compared to smoking. And nothing that suggests any short or medium term issues unrelated to nicotine – which is the main active ingredient in vaping for obvious reasons.

Incidentally, if any vaping brands etc need any help with marketing, do get in touch. My business website is still TheWayoftheWeb.

8 Months Vaping and Not Smoking




8 Months Vaping Stats:

  • 244 days since my last cigarette
  • 3,660 cigarettes not smoked (average of 15 per day)
  • £1,830 cigarettes not bought (average of £10 per pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £314.98. Total: £406.98.
  • Savings after 8 months: £1,423.02
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve now potentially regained: 610 hours of life. Which is 25.41 days. Or 2-3 weeks of potential life expectancy.
  • Exercise: Still not ideal, but by hitting 50 push-ups and squats when I have been committed, I can still just about claim a 30 per day average despite some unrelated injuries. Which is 5,970 push-ups and squats. The aim is to manage somewhere around 75-100 every day in future.