Zidoval gel is a treatment for bacterial vaginosis, which is inserted into the vagina. It contains the active ingredient metronidazole.
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How to use Metronidazole gel
Your metronidazole gel treatment pack will include 5 tubes of metronidazole gel and 5 disposable plastic applicators. This constitutes one full course of treatment for bacterial vaginosis. Metronidazole gel should be inserted into the vagina only, using the applicators provided. Insert one tube of the gel into the vagina once a day for 5 consecutive days. We recommended using this gel at night or just before bedtime.
Follow these directions on how to use Metronidazole gel, unless a medical professional tells you otherwise:
- Wash your hands before and immediately after inserting the gel
- Take one tube of metronidazole gel and remove the cap
- Attach one of the disposable applicators to the top of the tube and squeeze the tube gently so that the applicator fills with gel (you will know when the applicator is full because the plunger of the applicator will stop moving)
- Unscrew the applicator from the tube and insert it as far as is comfortable into the vagina, pushing on the plunger of the applicator to empty the gel
- Remove the applicator and dispose of the empty tube and used applicator safely
Repeat this process for the full 5 days of treatment, even if the symptoms of infection have cleared.
Metronidazole gel contains the active ingredient metronidazole, at a strength of 0.75% w/w.
Other ingredients in this gel are: methylparaben, propylparaben, purified water, propylene glycol, Carbomer (Carbopol) 974P, sodium hydroxide and edetate disodium.
If you have been prescribed metronidazole gel, always follow the prescribed dosage from your nurse, doctor or pharmacist. Otherwise, you should insert one full tube of metronidazole gel into your vagina once a day for 5 consecutive days. To prevent reinfection, you should always finish the full course of treatment.
If you ever forget a dose of metronidazole gel, use it as soon as you remember and continue with your treatment as before. If, by the time you remember, it’s time for your next dose, do not double-up on your treatment: use your original missed dose and continue your treatment as usual. Never use more than one dose of the gel a day to make up for missed doses.
Common side effects
- Irritation of the vulva or around the vagina
- A funny or unusual taste in the mouth
These side effects will usually pass over the course of treatment and should be harmless. However, if any symptoms worsen or you react badly to the gel in any way not listed here, seek medical attention immediately.
Metronidazole gel is an antibacterial gel used to treat bacterial vaginosis (or BV), a mild bacterial infection of the vagina that affects many women.
Not all women will seek treatment for BV, as it can sometimes clear on its own, but some women prefer to do so and will be prescribed antibiotic treatment for it.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection that is typically harmless but can be unpleasant. It usually occurs in women who are sexually active but can occur in any woman at any point in their lives.
The most common symptom of BV is greyish-white discharge and a ‘fishy’ odour from the vagina. But 50% of all women will not notice any symptoms at all.
You should only use metronidazole gel once you have been diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginosis. Metronidazole gel is safe to use by people who are hypersensitive or allergic to penicillin.
You should not use metronidazole gel if you are allergic to any of its listed ingredients. Make sure to inform your prescribing nurse, doctor or pharmacist if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of medicine or medicinal gel before. If you are ever in any doubt as to whether you should use this medicine, seek the advice of a medical professional beforehand.
Always consult your midwife, nurse or doctor before using metronidazole gel if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on having a baby. Avoid using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless it is considered absolutely necessary by a medical professional.
It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol for the course of treatment and for at least 48 hours after the course finishes.
Do not drive, operate machinery, or use heavy tools if you start to feel any of these symptoms:
- Feeling dizzy, sleepy, or confused
- Seeing or hearing things that do not exist (hallucination)
- Having convulsions or a fit
- Having blurred or double vision
If you start to feel any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Always tell whoever is prescribing you this medicine whether you’re currently taking or have recently finished taking any other forms of medication, even if it’s herbal. Metronidazole can sometimes affect the way other medications work, and vice versa.
In particular, if you are taking any of the following medicines, make sure to consult your doctor before taking metronidazole: lithium, anti-coagulants (like warfarin), epilepsy medications (like phenytoin, primidone or phenobarbitone), busulfan, disulfiram, 5 fluorouracil or ciclosporin.
Some women may develop thrush (a type of yeast infection) as a result of using this antibacterial gel. If you display the symptoms of thrush, speak to your nurse, doctor or pharmacist for advice.
As with all medicines, some but not all people will experience side effects as a result of using Metronidazole Gel. Some people may also experience an allergic reaction as a result of using this medicine.
In very rare cases, the use of metronidazole has been linked to brain disease (encephalopathy). The symptoms of a brain disease vary but if you experience the following symptoms, you should stop using metronidazole gel and seek emergency medical care:
- Confusion and hallucination (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Problems with speech
- Problems using your limbs
- Stiff neck or headache
Always keep your prescribing nurse, doctor or pharmacist aware of any side effects you might be having, even if they are not listed here, and seek medical attention if you react badly in any way to metronidazole gel.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- swelling of the hands, lips, face, throat, feet or ankles
- lumpy or itchy rash (hives)
- nettle rash (urticaria)
If you have these signs of an allergic reaction, stop using the gel straight away and seek immediate medical attention from a doctor or the A&E Department of your local hospital.