METRONIDAZOLE (me troe NI da zole) treats infections caused by too much bacteria in the vagina. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics. It will not treat yeast infections or infections caused by viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
History of blood diseases, like sickle cell disease or leukemia
History of yeast infection
If you often drink alcohol
An unusual or allergic reaction to metronidazole, nitroimidazoles, parabens, or other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is only for use in the vagina. Do not take by mouth or apply to other areas of the body. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Screw the applicator to the tube and squeeze the tube gently to fill the applicator. Lie on your back, part and bend your knees. Insert the applicator tip high in the vagina and push the plunger to release the gel into the vagina. Gently remove the applicator. Wash the applicator well with warm water and soap. Use at regular intervals. Finish the full course prescribed by your care team even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop using except on the advice of your care team.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication maybe prescribed for children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
Alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
This medication may also interact with the following:
Birth control pills
Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm) like dofetilide, ziprasidone
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, confusion or trouble speaking
Fever, neck pain or stiffness, sensitivity to light, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion
Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Severe diarrhea, fever
Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Irritation at application site
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain alcohol. Metronidazole can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.
If you are being treated for a sexually transmitted disease, avoid sexual contact until you have finished your treatment. Your sexual partner may also need treatment.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.