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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Dec;18(12):1997-2004. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1088.

Treatment considerations for bacterial vaginosis and the risk of recurrence.

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Health Benchmarks, Inc., IMS Health, Woodland Hills, California 91367, USA.



Recommended regimens for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) have similar efficacy; thus, the choice of treatment should consider additional factors such as risk of BV recurrence and side effect profile. The purpose of this study was to investigate BV recurrence rates and rates of acquiring vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) after different BV treatments in a commercially insured population.


Private administrative insurance claims from 2004 to 2006 were used. Study subjects were continuously enrolled females 12-50 years of age who filled prescriptions for BV treatment (n=32,268). The four BV treatments (single-dose clindamycin vaginal cream (2%), multiple-dose clindamycin vaginal regimens, vaginal metronidazole, and oral metronidazole) were compared for rates of recurrent BV and VVC after treatment using multivariate analyses. Covariates included sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.


Overall, the rate of BV recurrence (2.7%), and VVC posttreatment (2.9%) were low. Women who were treated with single-dose clindamycin vaginal cream (2%) showed no significant difference from women treated with oral metronidazole in the likelihood of BV recurrence. However, women who received other vaginal treatments were significantly more likely to experience BV recurrence compared with women who received oral metronidazole (p<0.01). Moreover, women who were treated with single-dose clindamycin vaginal cream (2%) and vaginal metronidazole were significantly less likely to have VVC compared with those treated with oral metronidazole (p<0.01).


This study suggests that single-dose clindamycin vaginal cream (2%) may be a good alternative to oral metronidazole for the treatment of BV, given the low rates of recurrence and subsequent VVC demonstrated in this analysis.

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