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.)