What is Metronidazole?
Metronidazole is an antibiotic that is used for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in women. It is available in packets of 14 x 400mg tablets that are taken twice daily for as long as your online GP instructs. The active ingredient (also called metronidazole) targets anaerobic bacteria in your vagina, curing infection and restoring the natural bacterial and pH balance in your body. It usually takes a minimum of 5 days to completely cure an outbreak of BV using Metronidazole. It is important to take all your prescribed pills at the right time, even if your symptoms improve or disappear. If you don’t finish the full course of Metronidazole your bacterial vaginosis may reoccur.
What is the active ingredient of Metronidazole?
The active ingredient of Metronidazole is also called metronidazole. It is an antibiotic that has a wide range of uses, but is available at DoktorABC for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. A five or seven day course of Metronidazole tablets is usually enough to cure a typical outbreak of BV.
How does Metronidazole work?
A healthy vagina contains a mixture of naturally occurring bacteria. These are divided into ‘good bacteria’ called lactobacilli and ‘bad bacteria’ called anaerobic bacteria. If there is an outgrowth of bad bacteria, it can cause bacterial vaginosis (BV). A course of Metronidazole antibiotics attacks the bad bacteria, curing the inflammation and restoring the natural bacterial balance in your vagina. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if you appear to be free of any symptoms of BV. If you do not, the problem can return and may be increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Who can take Metronidazole?
Our online GPs will usually consider prescribing Metronidazole to women over the age of 18 who meet the health requirements for this medication. If you are allergic to the active ingredient (also called metronidazole) or any of the other ingredients, you cannot take these antibiotics. They are also unsuitable if you are in the first three months of pregnancy or are breastfeeding.
When you complete the short online medical questionnaire, our duty GP will immediately check whether Metronidazole is safe for you to take. If we cannot issue a prescription for Metronidazole, you may be offered a different treatment for bacterial vaginosis like Dalacin Cream or Zidoval Gel.
What doses of Metronidazole are available?
Metronidazole is available as 400mg tablets, a single tablet is swallowed twice daily. Your online GP will usually prescribe a course of treatment that usually lasts either 5 or 7 days.
Available dosage: 400mg tablets
Active ingredient: Metronidazole
How to take Metronidazole?
It is important to take Metronidazole exactly as prescribed by your online GP. Unless instructed otherwise, a single tablet is taken in the morning and another at night. Tablets may be swallowed with a glass of water and should be taken either with, or shortly after a meal.
You may notice relief from the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis within a short time of beginning your course of treatment. Even if the symptoms appear to be gone, it is very important to continue taking all the prescribed pills until the full course is completed. If you do not, your BV infection may rapidly return and may be harder to treat. You should not drink alcohol during treatment and for 48 hours after your last tablet.
Can I take Metronidazole and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking any prescription medication. If you are taking metronidazole, it is very important not to drink any alcohol at all. You should also abstain from alcohol for a full 48 hours after you take your last tablet. If you combine alcohol with Metronidazole, you will be at risk of unpleasant side effects, including being sick, stomach pains, hot flushes, palpitations and headaches.
What are the side effects of Metronidazole?
Your Metronidazole tablets will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you use Metronidazole tablets exactly as directed by our online GP you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Potential side effects may include any of the following. Their frequency is not known due to a lack of available data.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or a feeling of weakness in the arms or legs.
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- Furred tongue.
- Feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting), upset stomach, or diarrhoea.
- Loss of appetite.
- Feeling depressed.
- Pain in your eyes (optic neuritis).
- A group of symptoms together including fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, stiff neck and extreme sensitivity to bright light. This may be caused by an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
- Hearing impairment/ hearing loss.
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- You get a rash or skin discolouration with or without raised areas, often reoccurring at the same location each time the drug is taken.
Very rarely patients may experience an adverse reaction to Metronidazole. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should discontinue your treatment and seek immediate medical advice.
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes. This could be due to a liver problem (jaundice).
- Unexpected infections, mouth ulcers, bruising, bleeding gums, or severe tiredness. This could be caused by a blood problem.
- Severe stomach pain which may reach through to your back (pancreatitis).
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When not to take Metronidazole?
If you are allergic to the active ingredient metronidazole, or you are in the first three months of pregnancy or are breastfeeding you cannot take this medication.
If you suffer from any of the following medical conditions, or are taking the following medications, you may be unable to take Metronidazole. It is important that you mention them when you complete the short online health questionnaire. Our duty GP will check your health profile to ensure that you can take the medication safely. If we cannot issue a prescription for Metronidazole, you may be offered an alternative such as Dalacin Cream or Zidoval Gel.
- Have kidney disease, particularly if you require dialysis treatments.
- Are or have ever suffered from any liver disease.
- Are in the 4th-9th month of pregnancy.
- Have epilepsy or have ever had fits.
- Have porphyria (a genetic disease that can cause skin blisters, abdominal pain and brain/nervous system disorders).
- Have any disorder of the blood and/or blood cells.
- Have any nervous system disorders.
- Have been exposed to any sexually transmitted disease.
- Medicines to stop the blood clotting such as warfarin.
- Lithium (used to treat depression).
- Medicines to treat epilepsy such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone (to treat alcohol addiction).
- Ciclosporin (used following organ transplants).
- Fluorouracil (used to treat some forms of cancer).
- Cimetidine (used to treat stomach ulcers).
- Oestrogen contraceptives (‘the pill’).
Metronidazole Important Health Information
Do not take Metronidazole if you are in the first three months of pregnancy, or think that you might be pregnant. The medication may cause serious harm to your unborn child. You should also not use Metronidazole if you are breastfeeding.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.