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Medications for Bacterial Vaginitis

Other names: Bacterial Vaginosis

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial infection in the vagina. It is the most common cause of abnormal vaginal odor and discharge in young women and is caused by a change in the balance and type of bacteria which are normally present in the vagina.

Although BV is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, the risk of developing BV seems to increase the more sexual partners a woman has.

Normally, Lactobacillus bacteria are the most common type of bacteria within the vagina. These produce chemicals that keep the vagina mildly acidic. In BV, numbers other types of bacteria within the vagina that are usually only present in small numbers increase and disrupt both the pH of the vagina and its lining. This can result in BV, and symptoms may include:

  • Mild itching in and around the vagina
  • Bad-smelling, fishy odor that is more noticeable during menstruation or after sex)
  • Pain when urinating.

Some women with BV have no symptoms, which is a bit concerning because if BV isn’t treated it can increase the chance of women developing STD’s (such as chlamydia, herpes, HIV or gonorrhea), pelvic inflammatory disease, and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage. In women who are pregnant, BV can result in premature labor and delivery, premature rupture of membranes, and postpartum uterine infections.

Who is at Risk of Developing Bacterial Vaginosis

Experts are not sure what causes this imbalance of bacteria to occur in the first place but have identified a few risk factors that make some women a lot more likely to develop BV. These include:

  • A history of multiple sex partners
  • A new sexual partner
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Vaginal douching
  • Presence of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD).

Although most risk factors are associated with sexual activity, women who have never had vaginal intercourse can also develop BV.

How is Bacterial Vaginosis Diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of BV or have a history of multiple or a new sexual partner, then make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor or nurse practitioner will ask you about any symptoms and take a history and then perform an examination. A swab may be taken of your vaginal fluid which will be tested in a laboratory. Other possible causes will be ruled out before they arrive at a diagnosis of BV.

How is Bacterial Vaginosis Treated?

Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor are usually necessary to treat BV. These may be in the form of tablets or vaginal creams. BV tends to recur, so you may need to take more than one course of antibiotics. Always finish the course of treatment prescribed, even if you feel better halfway through.

Male sexual partners don’t normally need to be treated for BV; however, female sexual partners will need treatment.

Drugs Used to Treat Bacterial Vaginitis

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
metronidazole B N X 782 reviews
6.8

Generic name: metronidazole systemic

Drug class: amebicides, miscellaneous antibiotics

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

MetroGel-Vaginal B N X 81 reviews
6.0

Generic name: metronidazole topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives, topical anti-rosacea agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

clindamycin B N 41 reviews
7.7

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Brand names:  Cleocin, Cleocin HCl, Cleocin Pediatric, Cleocin Phosphate …show all

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

metronidazole B N X 131 reviews
6.4

Generic name: metronidazole topical

Brand names:  MetroGel-Vaginal, Vandazole, Nuvessa

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives, topical anti-rosacea agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Cleocin B N 1 review
10

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

clindamycin B N 54 reviews
6.0

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Brand names:  Clindesse, Cleocin Vaginal, Clindamax, Clindacin P, Clindacin PAC …show all

Drug class: topical acne agents, vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Vandazole B N X 4 reviews
7.5

Generic name: metronidazole topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives, topical anti-rosacea agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

acetic acid N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Brand names:  Acid Jelly, Fem pH, Relagard, Acidic Vaginal Jelly, Feminique, Massengill Douche, Aci-Jel, Bidette …show all

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers:

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Clindesse B N 16 reviews
7.1

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cleocin Vaginal B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Acid Jelly N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Clindamax B N 3 reviews
6.7

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cleocin HCl B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Clindacin P B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Drug class: topical acne agents, vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Nuvessa B N X 6 reviews
6.5

Generic name: metronidazole topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

tinidazole C N X 62 reviews
7.8

Generic name: tinidazole systemic

Brand name:  Tindamax

Drug class: amebicides

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Cleocin Pediatric B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cleocin Phosphate B N 1 review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin systemic

Drug class: lincomycin derivatives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Clindacin PAC B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: clindamycin topical

Drug class: topical acne agents, vaginal anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Fem pH N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Tindamax C N X 15 reviews
6.6

Generic name: tinidazole systemic

Drug class: amebicides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Relagard N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Acidic Vaginal Jelly N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Feminique N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Massengill Douche N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: acetic acid topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: side effects

Learn more about Bacterial Vaginitis

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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