What Is Metronidazole Used For?

Various types of bacterial and parasitic infections, including bacterial vaginosis, rosacea, and trichomoniasis are often treated with metronidazole. The oral form is approved to treat amebic infections in children (although it is not approved for other uses in children). Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label metronidazole uses, such as treating Crohn's disease or infections caused by bacteria that are susceptible to this antibiotic.

Metronidazole Uses: An Overview

Metronidazole (Flagyl®, MetroCream®, MetroGel®, MetroGel-Vaginal®, MetroLotion®, Noritate®, Vandazole®) is a prescription antibiotic. It is available in several different forms and is approved for a variety of different uses.
Regular (short-acting) metronidazole 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 an 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 approved for only one use -- treating bacterial vaginosis (a certain type of bacterial infection of the vagina). The injectable form is given by IV and is approved for both treating and preventing anaerobic infections due to certain surgeries of the digestive tract.
Metronidazole lotion, gel, or cream products applied to the skin are approved for the treatment of rosacea. The vaginal gel is approved to treat bacterial vaginosis.
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Metronidazole Antibiotic Information

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