Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 26, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Rosadan Cream Kit
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiacne Antibacterial
Chemical Class: Nitroimidazole
Uses for metronidazole
Metronidazole topical gel is used to treat inflammatory lesions (pimples and red bumps) caused by rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness and pimples on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead.
Metronidazole is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using metronidazole
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For metronidazole, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to metronidazole or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of metronidazole topical gel in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of metronidazole topical gel in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of metronidazole than younger adults.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking metronidazole, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using metronidazole with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using metronidazole with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Cholera Vaccine, Live
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Mycophenolate Mofetil
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Papaverine Hydrochloride
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Using metronidazole with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Milk Thistle
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of metronidazole. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Blood disease, history of or
- Nerve problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper use of metronidazole
It is very important that you use metronidazole only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause unwanted side effects or skin irritation.
Metronidazole comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Metronidazole is for use on the skin only. Do not get it into your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away with water.
To use the topical gel:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using metronidazole.
- Make sure your skin is clean and dry before you apply metronidazole.
- Apply a thin layer of metronidazole to the affected area of the skin.
- You may apply cosmetics after applying metronidazole.
The dose of metronidazole will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of metronidazole. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (gel):
- For rosacea:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area of the skin once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For rosacea:
If you miss a dose of metronidazole, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using metronidazole
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Metronidazole may cause nerve problems (eg, peripheral neuropathy). Check with your doctor right away if you have burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations, unsteadiness or awkwardness, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
Skin reactions, including contact dermatitis, may occur while using metronidazole. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin or itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin.
Metronidazole may cause eye irritations. Check with your doctor right away if you have red, sore eyes or tearing of the eyes.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Metronidazole side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Bladder pain
- blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
- bloody or cloudy urine
- blurred vision
- body aches or pain
- chest tightness
- cough producing mucus
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- difficulty breathing
- ear congestion
- frequent urge to urinate
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- loss of voice
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches and pains
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back pain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about metronidazole topical
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Reviews (301)
- Compare alternatives
- Pricing & coupons
- Drug class: topical anti-rosacea agents
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