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Metronidazole Topical

pronounced as (me troe ni' da zole)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Metronidazole is used to treat rosacea (a skin disease that causes redness, flushing, and pimples on the face). Metronidazole is in a class of medications called nitroimidazole antimicrobials. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

How should this medicine be used?

Metronidazole comes as a cream, lotion, or gel to be applied to your skin. Metronidazole is usually is applied once or twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use metronidazole exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Do not use metronidazole topical in your eyes, mouth, or vagina.

Be careful not to get metronidazole gel, cream, or lotion in your eyes or mouth. If you do get metronidazole in your eyes, wash with plenty of water and contact your doctor.

Wash the affected skin area before applying the medication. Apply a thin layer of the cream, gel, or lotion to the affected area and rub it in gently. You may use cosmetics on the affected area after waiting at least 5 minutes for the medication to dry.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using metronidazole,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to metronidazole or any of the ingredients in metronidazole topical preparations. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription, nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a central nervous system condition (diseases of the spinal cord or brain) or a blood disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using metronidazole, call your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply the cream, lotion, or gel as soon as you remember, but do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Metronidazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • increased skin redness, dryness, burning, irritation, or stinging
  • teary eyes
  • pink eye
  • nausea

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • numbness, pain, burning, or tingling in your hands or feet
  • rash
  • itching
  • hives

Metronidazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze it.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the metronidazole, call your doctor.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • MetroCream®
  • MetroGel®
  • MetroLotion®
  • Noritate® Cream
Last Revised - 12/15/2017