Metronidazole Vaginal Gel

Metronidazole gel is a type of antibiotic that treats bacterial infections in your vagina. It doesn’t treat yeast infections or viral infections. Follow the instructions on the label to safely apply this gel into your vagina as directed.

What is this medication?

METRONIDAZOLE (me troe NI da zole) treats infections caused by too much bacteria in the vagina. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics. It will not treat yeast infections or infections caused by viruses.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): MetroGel, MetroGel Vaginal, MetroGel-Vaginal, NUVESSA, Vandazole

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Cockayne syndrome
  • History of blood diseases, like sickle cell disease or leukemia
  • History of yeast infection
  • If you often drink alcohol
  • Liver disease
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to metronidazole, nitroimidazoles, parabens, or other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is only for use in the vagina. Do not take by mouth or apply to other areas of the body. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Screw the applicator to the tube and squeeze the tube gently to fill the applicator. Lie on your back, part and bend your knees. Insert the applicator tip high in the vagina and push the plunger to release the gel into the vagina. Gently remove the applicator. Wash the applicator well with warm water and soap. Use at regular intervals. Finish the full course prescribed by your care team even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop using except on the advice of your care team.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication maybe prescribed for children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Alcohol or any product that contains alcohol
  • Cisapride
  • Disulfiram
  • Dronedarone
  • Pimozide
  • Thioridazine

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Amiodarone
  • Birth control pills
  • Busulfan
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cimetidine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Fluorouracil
  • Lithium
  • Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm) like dofetilide, ziprasidone
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Quinidine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Vecuronium
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain alcohol. Metronidazole can cause an unpleasant reaction when taken with alcohol. The reaction includes flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and increased thirst. The reaction can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

If you are being treated for a sexually transmitted disease, avoid sexual contact until you have finished your treatment. Your sexual partner may also need treatment.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, confusion or trouble speaking
  • Fever, neck pain or stiffness, sensitivity to light, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion
  • Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • Pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • Seizures
  • Severe diarrhea, fever
  • Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Headache
  • Irritation at application site
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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