Generic Name: metronidazole (MET-roe-NID-a-zole)
Brand Name: Examples include MetroGel Vaginal and Nuvessa
Metronidazole gel is used for:
Treating certain bacterial infections of the vagina (bacterial vaginosis). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Metronidazole gel is an antiprotozoal and antibacterial. It works by killing sensitive bacteria.
Do NOT use metronidazole gel if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in metronidazole gel, to other nitroimidazoles (eg, tinidazole), or to parabens
- you have taken disulfiram within the past 2 weeks
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using metronidazole gel:
Some medical conditions may interact with metronidazole gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have brain or nerve problems, blood problems (eg, low white blood cell or platelet levels), or a history of liver problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with metronidazole gel. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Disulfiram because side effects, such as mental or mood changes, may occur
- Cimetidine because it may increase the risk of metronidazole gel's side effects
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or lithium because the risk of their side effects may be increased by metronidazole gel
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if metronidazole gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use metronidazole gel:
Use metronidazole gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with metronidazole gel. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Metronidazole gel is for vaginal use only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get it in your eyes, rinse right away with a generous amount of cool water.
- Wash your hands before and after using metronidazole gel.
- If you are using metronidazole gel once daily, use it at bedtime.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
- To clear up your infection completely, use metronidazole gel for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- If you miss a dose of metronidazole gel, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use metronidazole gel.
Important safety information:
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take metronidazole gel before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while you use metronidazole gel. You may need to avoid drinking alcohol while using metronidazole gel and for some time after your last dose.
- Do not have vaginal sexual intercourse while you are using metronidazole gel.
- Be sure to use metronidazole gel for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Long-term or repeated use of metronidazole gel may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Check with your doctor before you use any other medicines or products (eg, tampons, douches) in your vagina.
- Metronidazole gel may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using metronidazole gel.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using metronidazole gel while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk after vaginal use. Do not breast-feed while using metronidazole gel.
Possible side effects of metronidazole gel:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; headache; minor vaginal irritation; nausea; painful menstrual period; pelvic discomfort.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); numbness, tingling, or burning of your arms, hands, legs, or feet; seizures; severe or persistent vaginal irritation; stomach pain; unusual vaginal odor, itching, or discharge.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of metronidazole gel:
Store metronidazole gel at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Do not freeze or refrigerate. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep metronidazole gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about metronidazole gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Metronidazole gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take metronidazole gel or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about metronidazole gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to metronidazole gel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using metronidazole gel.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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- Metronidazole Vaginal (Advanced Reading)