Metronidazole 400mg Tablets

  • Treats most cases of Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) within 7 days
  • Kills excess bacteria and restores the balance of Vaginal Bacteria
  • Effective in clearing symptoms in just 48 hours

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Metronidazole for the treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is a common condition that affects many women in their lifetime, it can cause a number of symptoms and in some cases can lead to multiple complications. It is caused by an imbalance in the naturally occurring bacteria that is present in the vagina. In most cases, it can be symptomless, however in others it can cause symptoms such as unusual discharge and a strong fishy smell.

Fortunately, BV can be treated quickly and effectively with Metronidazole 400mg tablets available from Medicine Direct. Metronidazole is the first line treatment option for BV and can clear up most cases within 1 week. You can buy metronidazole tablets for bacterial vaginosis from medicine direct following an online consultation with one of our UK based prescribers.

What are Metronidazole 400mg tablets?

Metronidazole is one of the most commonly prescribed medcines in the world, it is currently on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicines.

Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication, often sold under the brand name Flagyl.

It is a prescription-only medicine (POM) that is commonly used for bacterial infections, such as bacterial vaginosis.

We sell Metronidazole 400 mg in packets of 14 tablets. It also comes available as a liquid, suppository, a vaginal gel, or external cream or gel.

What is Metronidazole 400mg used to treat?

Metronidazole 400mg is primarily used to treat bacterial infections, in particular bacterial vaginosis, which is a bacterial infection of the vagina. This condition affects many females during the course of their lifetime.

Metronidazole is also approved for the treatment of trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a tiny parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis (TV).

Whist bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis may seem and sound very similar, they are somewhat different. In summary, BV is caused by excessive vaginal bacteria, whilst trichomoniasis is caused be a little parasite.

Metronidazole can also treat infections all over the body, including the stomach, liver, skin, joints, brain and respiratory tract.

It is normally effective in clearing symptoms after just 48 hours. If you have been taking the medicine for longer than 10 days, your doctor may wish to review your progress to see if another medicine might be more suitable for you.

How do Metronidazole 400mg tablets work?

Bacterial vaginosis is believed to be caused by a change in the balance of bacteria that live in the vagina. This condition is characterised by unusual vaginal discharge that often has a fishy odour, especially after sex.

While it is not classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), women who are sexually active are more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis. Having this condition can also make it easier for you to contract an STI.

Metronidazole 400mg works to treat bacterial vaginosis by stopping the bacteria and parasites that cause the infection from growing. It has the same mechanism of action for other bacterial infections that occur elsewhere on the body, such as infected leg ulcers or oral infections.

Metronidazole Dose for BV

Metronidazole tablets should be taken after you have eaten. Swallow them whole with a drink of water; do not crush or chew the tablets.

For most infections, your doctor will likely instruct you to take 1 tablet twice a day for 7 days. Some infections may only need a single dose, while others may require up to two weeks of treatment.

infection Dose
Bacterial Vaginosis 400-500mg twice daily for 5-7 days
Trichomoniasis 200mg 3 times daily for 7 days or 400-500mg twice daily

Who can take Metronidazole 400mg?

Metronidazole is safe for most adults and children to use, but it is not a suitable antibiotic for everyone.

To make sure this treatment is safe for you, you should check with your doctor before taking it if you have any of the following conditions:

  • You have or have ever had liver problems
  • You have had an allergic reaction to Metronidazole or any other medications in the past
  • You are currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You do not feel that you will be able to stop drinking alcohol while taking Metronidazole
  • You are having dialysis
  • You have a disease of the nervous system

If you wish to use the vaginal gel, you should also check with your doctor if you think you may have vaginal thrush.

Is it safe to take Metronidazole during pregnancy?

Studies have shown that taking Metronidazole during pregnancy for the treatment of trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis is safe and shows no teratogen risk.

Treating bacterial infections during pregnancy can be crucial to the health of a mother and baby. If left untreated, bacterial infections can increase the chance of a premature labour. 

The use of Metronidazole during pregnancy should be subject to a clinical risk assessment from your doctor who will weigh up how necessary the treatment is against any potential risks that may arise as a result of using the medicine whilst pregnant. 

Other considerations will be taken into account during the clinical risk assessment such as, if there are any underlying conditions as well as how many weeks pregnant you are.

Metronidazole Side Effects

Like all medicines, Metronidazole comes with a risk of certain side effects, although these will not affect everyone who uses it.

If you are using Metronidazole cream or gel, you are unlikely to experience any adverse effects.

However, when taking the tablets or liquid, side effects are more likely.

Common side effects of these tablets may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A metallic taste in your mouth or a furry tongue

Speak to your doctor if any of the above reactions bother you or do not go away.

This list is not exhaustive, please refer to our medical guide that provides more information on Metronidazole side effects.

Always read the information leaflet that will come with your medicine for a comprehensive list.

Metronidazole and Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while taking Metronidazole and for at least 72 hours after your treatment is complete. Alcohol can interact with Metronidazole, which can cause vomiting or nausea.

Our medical guide provides more information on drinking alcohol while taking metronidazole.

Alternative treatments for bacterial vaginosis

There are other medicines available to treat bacterial vaginosis if Metronidazole is not suitable for you to use.

Balance Activ is a vaginal gel that contains lactic acid, which works to restore your body’s natural pH balance. This 7-day treatment should be applied before going to sleep, allowing it to work overnight. Balance Activ gets to work straight away and you should have noticed a considerable improvement after just a few days. Balance Activ can be bought without needing a prescription.

You can also order Canestest, which is a self-test kit for vaginal infections including bacterial vaginosis. This test provides instant results and will help to make sure you receive the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

Metronidazole is also available as a Gel, a study into the efficacy of both the Gel and Oral versions of Metronidazole when treating Bacterial vaginosis found them to be as effective. However, patients reported fewer gastrointestinal side effects when using the gel.

Can you buy Metronidazole 400mg online?

Yes, you can buy Metronidazole 400mg tablets online from most UK online pharmacies. You will be required to complete an online health consultation which will allow a doctor to review your condition to ensure you are receiving the most suitable treatment.

When buying Metronidazole 400mg tablets online, you should always ensure you are purchasing from a fully regulated UK pharmacy. To learn more about our company and who we are regulated by, visit our about us page.

Metronidazole Indications and Dose

All of our Doctors and Pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Metronidazole.

Always take Metronidazole exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to use this treatment. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for more information if you are not sure of how to take it.

Metronidazole for Bacterial Vaginosis FAQ's

What is Metronidazole used for?


Metronidazole is used to treat a number of infections, most commonly; Bacterial Vaginosis, rosacea, dental abscesses, Pelvic inflammatory disease, insect bites and skin infections.

How does Metronidazole work for Bacterial Vaginosis?


Metronidazole is an antibiotic that works by killing and stopping the growth of bacteria that causes infection.

How long does it take for Metronidazole to work?


Metronidazole will typically clear bacterial vaginosis within 3 days, however the recommended treatment length is 7 days. It is important to complete your course of metronidazole even if your symptoms have cleared as this does not guarantee the infection ahs gone.

Is metronidazole good for BV?


Yes, metronidazole is the first line treatment option for treating bacterial vaginosis.

Can I take Metronidazole during pregnancy?


Metronidazole is safe to take during pregnancy when treating BV. Treating bacterial infections during pregnancy can be crucial to the health of a mother and baby. If left untreated, bacterial infections can increase the chance of a premature labour. 

How do I take Metronidazole 400mg tablets?


For bacterial infections you should take 1 x 400mg tablet twice daily, typically one in the morning and one i the evening.

Can I have sex whilst taking Metronidazole?


If you are using metronidazole to treat Bacterial Vaginosis, it is recommended to avoid having sex until you have completed your full course of antibiotics.

Can I drink alcohol whilst taking Metronidazole?


No, you should not drink whilst taking your course of antibiotics. Alcohol and Metronidazole can cause Vomiting, stomach ache, flushing, increased heart rate and headaches.

Will metronidazole clear my BV?


Metronidazole can clear Bacterial Vaginosis within 7 days, however it is common for BV to come back within 3 months. If your BV is recurrent, it is likely that your treatment length will be extended. 

How long do I need to take Metronidazole for?


You will need to take Metronidazole for 1 week to complete your course of treatment. 

Does Metronidazole cure Bacterial Vaginosis?


Metronidazole will not cure bacterial vaginosis as it is still possible for this infection to come back in the future. However, metronidazole will get rid of existing BV infections.

Metronidazole Side Effects

Milder Metronidazole side effects can be found on the main page.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following side effects while taking Metronidazole:

  • Liver problems, including liver failure (this could be life-threatening)
  • Dark urine
  • Skin rash or flushing
  • Feeling dizzy or sleepy
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Mental problems such as confusion or hallucinations
  • Eyesight issues, such as blurred vision or double vision
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (these could be signs of a liver problem)
  • Unexpected infections, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, bruising
  • Severe stomach pain, which may spread to your back (you could have pancreatitis)
  • You have a fever that is higher than 38C, a stiff neck, you are hallucinating, feel confused, have trouble speaking, or cannot cope with bright light
  • Loss of appetite
  • You feel depressed
  • Hearing problems or loos of hearing
  • Tinnitus
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms or legs

Having a fever, stiff neck, feeling confused, hallucinations, sensitivity to bright light or difficulty speaking may appear together, or you may experience a few of these symptoms. These could be signs of meningitis; it is very important you contact your doctor immediately if you exhibit any of these symptoms.

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, you could suffer a serious allergic reaction to this medicine. This could result in you requiring immediate treatment in hospital.

You must either go to A&E or call 999 straight away if you exhibit any of the following symptoms while you use Metronidazole:

  • You are wheezing
  • You develop a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • You have swelling in your face, throat, lips, tongue, or mouth
  • You have tightness in your chest or throat
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak

The above lists may not be exhaustive. For a comprehensive list of side effects, please always read the patient information leaflet, thoroughly, before you start to use a new medicine.

If you have any questions or concerns about adverse reactions, please discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Metronidazole Warnings and drug interactions

Metronidazole may interact with other medicines in both adults and children, which can increase your risk of side effects or hinder its effectiveness.

Before you start to use a new medicine, it is very important you tell your doctor if you are currently taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, vitamins, supplements and herbal remedies.

In particular, when you use Metronidazole tablets, you should inform your doctor if you are already taking any of the below medicines:

  • The blood thinning medicine warfarin
  • Lithium to treat mental illness
  • Disulfiram for treating alcoholism
  • The epilepsy medicines phenytoin or phenobarbitone
  • Medicines for the treatment of cancer, fluorouracil or busulfan
  • Any medicines that you take as a liquid (many liquid medicines contain alcohol)

Metronidazole is not known to cause any problems when taken alongside herbal remedies. Nonetheless, you should still inform your doctor if you are currently using any herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements, as several contain alcohol.

Please read the patient information leaflet, which will accompany your tablets, for comprehensive information on the warnings and drug interactions associated with Metronidazole.

If you have any doubts as to whether this medication is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you begin your course of treatment.

Driving and operating machinery

This medicine will not have a direct impact on your ability to drive, ride a bike, or operate machinery. However, as nausea, vomiting, hallucinations and dizziness are all associated reactions with this medicine, you should not drive, operate machinery, or cycle if you experience any of these effects.

If you do experience these reactions, wait until you feel better before you drive, cycle or operate machinery.

If your symptoms persist, speak to your doctor for advice.

Metronidazole Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Metronidazole

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
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Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

This page has recently been medically reviewed by Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 07/09/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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