Home > Drugs A – Z > Metronidazole
  • We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information

Metronidazole

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial infections in different areas of the body. The extended-release tablets are used to treat women with vaginal… Read more

Brand names include: Flagyl, Flagyl 375

Injection

Metronidazole injection is used to treat serious bacterial infections in different areas of the body. It is also used to prevent infections in the intestines… Read more

Brand names include: Flagyl I.V., Flagyl I.V. RTU

On the skin

Topical metronidazole is applied to the skin in adults to help control rosacea , also known as acne rosacea and “adult acne.” This medicine helps to reduce… Read more

Brand names include: Metrocream, Metrogel

Vaginal

Metronidazole vaginal is used to treat women with vaginal infections (e.g., bacterial vaginosis). Metronidazole belongs to the class of medicines known… Read more

Brand names include: Flagyl, Metrogel

Drug classes About this
Amebicide, Extraintestinal, Amebicide, Intestinal, Antiacne Antibacterial, Antibacterial, Antibiotic, Antiprotozoal, Antiulcer, Helicobacter Pylori
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Metronidazole for treating the post hemorrhoidectomy pain: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Tian AP, Yang KH, Tian JH, Yan X.  Metronidazole for treating the post hemorrhoidectomy pain: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2009; 9(9): 979-984

Living preparation of Lactobacillus versus metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Zhao TF, Zhong L, Luo D.  Living preparation of Lactobacillus versus metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010; 10(11): 1338-1344

Effect of local application of metronidazole with scaling and root planing: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Li XY, Lin L, Pan YP, Guo LC.  Effect of local application of metronidazole with scaling and root planing: a meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2009; 9(11): 1226-1230

See all (89)

Summaries for consumers

Several antibiotic agents, including metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, and rifaximin, as well as oral probiotics, may be effective treatments for pouchitis.

Some patients with ulcerative colitis have their colon and rectum removed with construction of a reservoir or pouch (made from a loop of small intestine) to serve in place of the rectum. This is known as an ileal pouch‐anal anastomosis (IPAA) surgery. Pouchitis is acute inflammation of the surgically constructed pouch which may cause diarrhea and other problems. The exact cause of pouchitis is not known, but it may be caused by an imbalance in bacteria (similar to an infection) and can be treated by antibiotics, probiotics (bacteria important for the health of the bowel), or other agents that may reduce or prevent inflammation. Metronidazole and Ciprofloxacin (two antibiotics), budesonide enemas (a topical steroid that may decrease inflammation), and oral probiotic therapy with VSL#3 all appear to be effective therapies for acute and/or chronic pouchitis. Current evidence does not support the use of lactobacillus GG (a different probiotic), bismuth (a metal that may be useful in some diarrheal disorders), butyrate and glutamine (two nutrients required by the bowel), allopurinol (a gout medication which may decrease inflammation), or inulin (a non‐absorbable sugar which may decrease inflammation). So far the research performed has generally consisted of small studies that were not reproduced, so more research is needed to determine which of these different medications are best for treatment of pouchitis.

Rosacea: Which medications have been well studied?

Skin creams containing metronidazole or azelaic acid can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea. Medications containing the antibiotic drug doxycycline might also help to relieve skin redness.

The effects of antimicrobial treatment on bacterial vaginosis in non‐pregnant women  

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a very common cause of symptomatic and asymptomatic vaginal infection. It has been associated with a high incidence of obstetric and gynaecologic complications and an increased risk of transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). This review evaluated the effectiveness and adverse effects of antimicrobial agents used to treat BV in non‐pregnant women. Twenty‐four trials involving 4422 women were reviewed. With regard to less treatment failure, clindamycin was superior to placebo but comparable to metronidazole, irrespective of the dose regimen. Metronidazole tended to cause a higher rate of adverse events, such as metallic taste and nausea and vomiting, than did clindamycin. Oral lactobacillus combined with metronidazole was more effective than metronidazole alone. Administered in an intravaginal gelatin tablet, lactobacillus was also more effective than oral metronidazole. Triple sulfonamide cream was less effective compared with clindamycin. Hydrogen peroxide douche was not as effective as a single 2 g dose of metronidazole yet caused more harms. Only one trial involved asymptomatic women and the result was not conclusive. There was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion on the effectiveness of other promising drugs. Drugs effective for bacterial vaginosis include clindamycin preparations, oral metronidazole, and oral and intravaginal tablets of lactobacillus. Adverse effects of metronidazole include metallic taste, and nausea and vomiting. Information on possible side effects of lactobacillus preparations is required.

See all (18)

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...