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Metronidazole

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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 19/08/2020 Next review: 19/02/2021

What is Metronidazole?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic which is used to treat a number of bacterial infections including tooth infections and bacterial vaginosis. This treatment comes in the form of oral tablets or a topical vaginal gel.

The antibiotic, Metronidazole, is also the active ingredient of some rosacea treatments such as Rozex and Metrogel.

When taking any course of antibiotics, it is important to complete the course of treatment completely, even if you feel better or the infection has cleared. Stopping Metronidazole too early can cause your infection to return.

The amount of Metronidazole you take and how long you take it for depend on the severity of your infection and the administrative route of the medicine. Always follow the doctors instructions when taking antibiotics.


Buy Metronidazole Online for Bacterial Vaginosis

With Prescription Doctor's convenient online prescription service, you can buy Metronidazole 400mg online without needing to visit your GP or wait in line at a pharmacy.

To begin your order, complete our short online medical form for our doctor to review. If our doctor approves your order before 3pm Monday to Friday, our UK based pharmacy will dispense and dispatch your item the same day for a next-day delivery.

All items are dispatched from our UK GPhC pharmacy in discreet packaging, which gives no indication of the item within nor its origin.


What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a vaginal infection which affects 1 in 3 women in the UK. While it is not classed as an STI, the infection can be triggered by sexual intercourse and even passed on from one woman to another during sex.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

There are a number of potential causes of BV, including:

  • using perfumed products in and around the vagina
  • changing sexual partners
  • change in vaginal pH brought on by periods
  • using strong detergents when washing underwear
  • using a form of contraception known as a UID

Is bacterial vaginosis the same as thrush?

BV is often mistaken for thrush due to the similarities in the symptoms the two infections cause. The difference between the two conditions lies in the consistency and odour of vaginal discharge. While thrush often produces a thick, odourless discharge which looks akin to cottage cheese, the discharge associated with bacterial vaginosis is often thin, watery and foul or fishy smelling.

If you notice a change in your vaginal discharge, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist for advice.


How does Metronidazole work?

Metronidazole is an antibiotic which kills bacteria by interfering and altering its DNA.

The change inhibits the cells' ability to reproduce, stopping the infection from spreading. This gives the immune system a better chance of fighting the infection.

Metronidazole is only effective against bacteria which do not require oxygen to survive, also referred to as anaerobic bacteria.


How do I take Metronidazole?

Metronidazole comes in three formulations: capsules, tablets and vaginal gel. The form of the treatment depends on the severity of the infection.

For the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, take one 400mg tablet twice a day for 7 days.

It is important to take metronidazole as prescribed by your doctor. This means remembering to take metronidazole at the same time everyday for as long as prescribed.

If you often forget when to take your medicine, set a reminder on your phone or store your medicine in a place which will jog your memory.

If you are not sure how to take Metronidazole, read the enclosed patient information leaflet or speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

It is vital to complete the course of Metronidazole 400mg you have been prescribed to prevent the infection from coming back.

Instructions on how to take Metronidazole for BV can be found within the leaflet enclosed within the packaging of medicine. You should always read this leaflet before taking Metronidazole. Always retain the leaflet in case you need to refer to it again in the future.

Capsules

Swallow each capsule whole with a glass of water.

Metronidazole capsules can be taken with or without food.

Do not break open the capsule.

If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about alternative treatments.

Tablets

Swallow each 400mg tablet whole with a glass of water.

Take Metronidazole tablets without food.

Do not crush or chew the tablet.

If you have trouble taking tablets, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about alternative treatments.

Vaginal gel

Vaginal gel is applied internally into the vagina using the provided applicator.

Fill the applicator to the indicated line with the gel. Insert the applicator into the vagina while gently removing the applicator, dispense the Metronidazole gel into your vagina.


Metronidazole side effects and cautions

How will I know if Metronidazole 400mg is safe for me?

Metronidazole is not suitable for everyone. Before you buy Metronidazole online, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist to ensure it is safe for you to take. 

By filling out our confidential medical questionnaire, our prescribers will be able to determine whether Metronidazole is safe for you.

When you buy metronidazole online from Prescription Doctor, it's important to inform our doctor of all the medication you are taking, including medicines prescribed by your GP or bought over the counter from pharmacies, as well as health and herbal supplements you are taking.

Do not take Metronidazole if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

Speak to your doctor before using Metronidazole if you:

  • Are on dialysis
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have liver problems
  • Suspect you have vaginal thrush
  • Will not be able to stop drinking alcohol while using Metronidazole

Side effects of Metronidazole

Metronidazole has the potential of causing side effects, though not everybody gets them. Understanding the risks associated with the medicine, and reminaing vigliant of any side effects, is an essential part of your treatment.

Common side effects of Metronidazole include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Metallic taste
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you notice any of the side effects listed below, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain which radiates to your back (pancreatitis)
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Unexpected infections
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Very rare side effects of metronidazole (affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • Darkening of urine
  • Dizziness
  • Fits (convulsions)
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Liver problems
  • Muscle and join pain
  • Rash
  • Sleepiness

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects to Metronidazole. For the complete list of side effects, consult the patient information leaflet which is enclosed with your medicine.

You should retain the leaflet in case you need to read it again in the future.

How can I report my side effects?

If you experience any side effects of metronidazole 400mg, report them to your doctor straight away. Consider speaking to a pharmacist for advice on how to manage your side effects.

The NHS' website has a tool to find your nearest pharmacy.

How long do side effects of Metronidazole last?

Side effects should disappear after 1 day of finishing your course of Metronidazole.

If your side effects persist for longer or are particularly bothersome, seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible.

Allergic reaction

If you notice the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking Metronidazole and speak to your doctor or go straight to your nearest hospital. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medicine with you so that doctors know exactly what you've taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Blue skin or lips
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Rash
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat
  • Tightness of the chest

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not take Metronidazole if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or breastfeeding.

If you become pregnant while taking Metronidazole, speak to your doctor as soon as possible for further advice.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Metronidazole 400mg online.

Do not take Metronidazole past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the indicated month.

Do not throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it safely on your behalf.

Always keep your medicine out of the sight and reach of children and pets.

Never share your medicine with other people, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.


Frequently asked questions about Metronidazole

What if I forget to take Metronidazole?

If you forget to take Metronidazole 400mg, take it as soon as you remember.

If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue taking Metronidazole as you normally would.

To help you remember when to take your next dose of Metronidazole, put your medicine in a place where you are most likely to remember it or a place where you will see it to prompt you to take it.

You could also set a reminder on your phone to remind you when to take Metronidazole.

Alternatively, you could set a reminder on your phone which will prompt you near the time of your next dose of Metronidazole.

What if I take too much Metronidazole?

If you accidentally take more Metronidazole 400mg than you should, speak to your doctor immediately or visit your nearest hospitals' casualty department.

Symptoms of metronidazole overdose include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, metallic taste, headache, nausea and changes in sleeping patters such as insomnia or drowsiness

What if I stop taking Metronidazole?

You should not stop taking Metronidazole unless your doctor has instructed that it is safe to do so.

Antibiotics, such as Metronidazole, should not be stopped early. Stopping treatment with an antibiotic early runs the risk of the infection returning.

Always complete your course of antibiotics unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Metronidazole?

No, you should not drink alcohol while treating an infection with Metronidazole.

Alcohol can lower the effectiveness of Metronidazole and increase the risk of adverse side effects, such as dizziness, drowsiness and nausea.

How long does Metronidazole take to work?

Depending on the formulation, severity of infection and many other factors about the patient, it can take between 3 and 14 days.

Most courses of Metronidazole 400mg last for a week (7 days).

The doctor will determine how long you should take Metronidazole 400mg for in order to clear the infection.

How long will I have to avoid alcohol for while taking Metronidazole?

Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can lower their effectiveness. You should avoid alcohol drinks and mouthwash while taking Metronidaz

You will be able to drink alcohol once 48 hours has passed since your final dose of Metronidazole.

Can I buy Metronidazole over the counter in the UK?

Metronidazole is a prescription-only medicine and cannot be bought over the counter.

However, you can buy Metronidazole online from Prescription Doctor following a quick consultation. If our doctor is satisfied that the treatment is safe for you, they can issue a prescription which our UK registered pharmacy can fulfil.


Additional resources

Why do I keep getting bacterial vaginosis?

How can I prevent Bacterial Vaginosis?

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/metronidazole/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bacterial-vaginosis/

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Metronidazole
  • Active Ingredient(s): Metronidazole
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 400 mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only
  • Application: Women over 18
  • Dosage: Take one 400mg tablet twice a day for 7 days
  • Description: An antibiotic which prevents anaerobic bacteria from reproducing and spreading.
  • Drug Class: Antibiotic
  • Alcohol Consumption: Do not consume alcohol
  • When Pregnant: Do not take Metronidazole while pregnant. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
  • When Breastfeeding: Do not take Metronidazole while breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for further advice.
Click here to view the Metronidazole - Patient Information Leaflet