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Metronidazole Topical

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Metronidazole topical is a medication prescribed for the treatment of certain skin conditions, primarily those caused by bacteria or parasites. It is commonly used to treat skin infections such as bacterial vaginosis, rosacea, and certain types of acne. The active ingredient, metronidazole, is an antibiotic that works by killing or inhibiting the growth of the microorganisms responsible for these skin conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how metronidazole topical should typically be used:

  • Clean the affected area: Before applying metronidazole topical, make sure the affected skin is clean and dry. Gently wash the area with mild soap and water, and then pat it dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply a thin layer: Using clean hands or a clean applicator, apply a thin layer of the metronidazole topical cream, gel, or lotion to the affected area. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the specific product and the frequency of application.
  • Rub in gently: Gently and evenly rub the medication into the skin. Avoid excessive rubbing, as it may irritate the skin.
  • Wash your hands: After applying the medication, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid inadvertently transferring it to other parts of your body or to others.
  • Follow the prescribed regimen: It’s essential to use metronidazole topical as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This typically involves applying it once or twice a day, depending on the condition being treated.
  • Continue treatment: Even if your symptoms improve before the prescribed treatment duration is over, it’s important to complete the full course of treatment. Stopping too soon could allow the infection to return.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes: Be careful not to get metronidazole topical in your eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse the affected area with plenty of water.
  • Store as directed: Store the medication as per the instructions on the packaging, typically at room temperature, away from excessive heat or direct sunlight.
  • Monitor for side effects: While using metronidazole topical, keep an eye out for any signs of skin irritation, redness, itching, or burning. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Follow up: If you have any concerns or if your symptoms do not improve or worsen while using metronidazole topical, contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

It’s crucial to use metronidazole topical exactly as prescribed and not share it with others, as the medication is tailored to your specific condition. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of this medication, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Other uses for this medicine

Metronidazole topical is primarily prescribed for specific skin conditions, but it may also have off-label uses, as determined by a healthcare provider. Some potential off-label uses for metronidazole topical include:

  • Perioral Dermatitis: Some dermatologists may prescribe metronidazole topical for perioral dermatitis, a facial skin condition characterized by small red bumps and pimple-like lesions around the mouth.
  • Secondary Bacterial Infections: It may be used as part of the treatment for secondary bacterial infections associated with certain skin conditions.
  • Wound Healing: In some cases, metronidazole topical has been used to promote wound healing, especially in situations where infection may be a concern.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions to consider when using metronidazole topical:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to metronidazole or any other medications. Allergic reactions to topical medications can occur, so it’s essential to discuss any known allergies.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the use of metronidazole topical with your healthcare provider. The safety of this medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding may vary depending on the specific circumstances, and your doctor will help you weigh the risks and benefits.
  • Medical History: Provide a complete medical history to your healthcare provider, especially if you have a history of blood disorders or neurological problems, as metronidazole can have potential side effects related to these conditions.
  • Avoid Eyes and Mucous Membranes: Be cautious not to get metronidazole topical in your eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse the affected area with plenty of water.
  • Sun Exposure: Some formulations of metronidazole topical may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. If so, take precautions such as wearing protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Alcohol Interaction: It is generally advised to avoid consuming alcohol while using metronidazole, including the topical form, as it can cause adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, and flushing.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking, as there may be potential interactions with metronidazole.
  • Skin Irritation: If you experience severe skin irritation, redness, itching, or burning while using metronidazole topical, discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and recommendations regarding the use of metronidazole topical, including dosages and treatment duration. If you have any concerns or experience unusual side effects, consult your healthcare provider promptly for guidance.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special Dietary Instructions:

  • High-Protein Meals: Metronidazole Topical absorption may be reduced when taken with high-protein meals. Try to take Methyldopa at least one hour before or two hours after eating a high-protein meal.
  • Tyramine-Rich Foods: Avoid foods high in tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, certain types of wine, and beer, as Methyldopa may interact with tyramine-containing foods and beverages. This interaction can lead to increased blood pressure.
  • Salt Intake: Be mindful of your salt (sodium) intake, as excessive salt consumption can raise blood pressure. Your doctor may provide guidance on an appropriate dietary plan for managing hypertension.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Methyldopa, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one, as this can lead to unwanted side effects or complications.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Metronidazole topical is generally well-tolerated when used as prescribed, but like any medication, it can potentially cause side effects. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and they can vary in severity. Common side effects of metronidazole topical may include:

  • Skin Irritation: This is the most common side effect and may manifest as redness, itching, burning, or stinging at the application site. Skin irritation is usually mild and temporary.
  • Dry Skin: Some individuals may experience dryness or peeling of the skin at the application site.
  • Skin Rash: A rash on the skin can occur in some cases. If you develop a severe or widespread rash, discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider.
  • Metallic Taste: In rare cases, metronidazole applied to the face may be absorbed through the skin and cause a metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Eye Irritation: Avoid getting metronidazole topical in your eyes, as it can cause eye irritation. If accidental contact occurs, rinse your eyes thoroughly with water.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions to metronidazole topical can occur. Signs of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling of the face or throat, and difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
  • Neurological Effects: While topical metronidazole is generally considered safe, in rare cases, it may be absorbed through the skin and cause neurological symptoms such as dizziness, headache, or numbness or tingling in the hands or feet. If you experience these symptoms, discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider.

It’s important to note that the likelihood and severity of side effects can vary from person to person. If you experience severe or persistent side effects or have concerns about the use of metronidazole topical, contact your healthcare provider for guidance. They can help assess the risks and benefits of the medication in your specific situation and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary.

Additionally, if you have a history of allergies, sensitivities, or skin conditions, be sure to discuss these with your healthcare provider before using metronidazole topical to help minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store as Directed: Follow the storage instructions provided on the medication packaging. Typically, metronidazole topical should be stored at room temperature, away from excessive heat or direct sunlight.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store metronidazole topical in a location that is out of the reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Protect from Moisture: Ensure that the medication container is tightly closed to protect it from moisture.


When it comes to disposing of Metronidazole Topical or any medication:

  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • If there are no disposal instructions, you can typically dispose of Methyldopa by mixing it with an unpalatable substance (like dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds) in a sealed plastic bag and throwing it in your household trash. Remove any personal information from the medication packaging before disposing of it.
  • Do not flush Methyldopa down the toilet unless explicitly instructed to do so, as this can potentially harm the environment.

In case of emergency/overdose

In the event of an emergency or suspected overdose of metronidazole topical, take the following steps:

  • Seek Medical Attention: If you or someone else accidentally ingests or applies an excessive amount of metronidazole topical, or if you experience severe allergic reactions or symptoms of overdose (such as dizziness, confusion, or seizures), seek immediate medical attention by calling your local emergency number or going to the nearest emergency room.
  • Provide Information: Be prepared to provide information about the product ingested or applied, the quantity, and the time of ingestion. This information will help healthcare professionals provide the appropriate treatment.
  • Do Not Self-Treat: Do not attempt to treat an overdose or adverse reaction to metronidazole topical on your own without professional medical guidance.

What other information should I know?

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Follow Instructions: Always use metronidazole topical as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed.
  • Regular Check-Ups: If you are using metronidazole topical to treat a specific skin condition, your healthcare provider may recommend periodic check-ups to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan if needed.
  • Inform Your Healthcare Provider: Keep your healthcare provider informed about any other medications, supplements, or topical products you are using to avoid potential interactions.
  • Complete the Course: Finish the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve before the prescribed duration is over. Stopping too soon may allow the infection to return.
  • Follow-Up: If you have any questions or concerns about your medication, side effects, or treatment progress, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

By following these storage, disposal, and emergency response guidelines, you can use metronidazole topical safely and effectively as part of your prescribed treatment plan.

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