Metronidazole (Flagyl®, MetroCream®, MetroGel®, MetroGel-Vaginal®, MetroLotion®, Noritate®, Vandazole®) is a prescription antibiotic that comes in both oral and topical forms. It is approved for treating various types of parasitic and bacterial infections, including certain sexually transmitted infections.
In order to work, metronidazole must enter the bacteria or parasite cell. The cells then cause a chemical reaction to occur with the medication. This reaction produces free radicals, molecules that can damage and destroy cells. This is presumably how the medication works to kill bacteria or parasites.
The particular directions for when and how to use each metronidazole oral and topical product can vary substantially. Your healthcare provider will recommend an appropriate dosage for your situation based on several factors, including:
The particular product
The type and severity of your infection
How you respond to the antibiotic
Other medications you are taking
Your weight (for children)
Other medical conditions you may have.
(Click Metronidazole for information on when and how to use metronidazole oral and topical products, the effects of this medicine, and what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Flagyl [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.; 2006 August.
Flagyl ER [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.; 2006 August.
Flagyl 375 [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.; 2006 August.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click