What Is Metronidazole Taken For?

Metronidazole (Flagyl®, MetroCream®, MetroGel®, MetroGel-Vaginal®, MetroLotion®, Noritate®, Vandazole®) is a prescription antibiotic that comes in many different forms and strengths, but what is metronidazole taken for?
 
The regular (short-acting) capsules and tablets are approved to treat the following kinds of infections:
 
  • Trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite)
  • Certain infections, such as amebic dysentery or amebic liver abscess, caused by amoeba (a certain type of parasite)
  • Various infections caused by anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive), including infections of the:
 
    • Abdomen (stomach)
    • Skin
    • Blood
    • Bones or joints
    • Female reproductive tract
    • Central nervous system, including the brain
    • Lungs
    • Heart.
 
Long-acting, extended-release metronidazole tablets are taken for bacterial vaginosis (a certain type of bacterial infection of the vagina). The injectable form is given by IV and is approved for treating and preventing anaerobic infections due to certain surgeries of the digestive tract.
 
The lotion, gel, or cream products applied to the skin are approved for the treatment of rosacea. Metronidazole vaginal gel is approved to treat bacterial vaginosis.
 
(Click What Is Metronidazole Used For? for more information on what else this drug is taken for, how it works, and whether children can take this medicine.)
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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