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All about: Metronidazole Cream

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Generic Name: Metronidazole Cream, Gel, and Lotion (me-troe-NIH-duh-zole)
Brand Name: Examples include MetroCream, MetroGel, and MetroLotion

Metronidazole Cream is used for:

Treating redness and inflammation associated with the skin disorder rosacea. It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Metronidazole Cream is an antiprotozoal and antibacterial. It is thought to work by entering the bacterial cell, acting on some components of the cell and destroying the bacteria.

Do NOT use Metronidazole Cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Metronidazole Cream
  • you are taking an ergot alkaloid (eg, ergotamine) or disulfiram
  • you are taking an HIV protease inhibitor that contains alcohol (eg, ritonavir); check with your pharmacist if you are unsure if the medicine contains alcohol
  • you drink alcohol

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Metronidazole Cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with Metronidazole Cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a central nervous system disease

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Metronidazole Cream. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital) because they may decrease Metronidazole Cream's effectiveness
  • Aminoquinolines (eg, chloroquine), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), busulfan, carbamazepine, cyclosporine, disulfiram, ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), ethanol, fluorouracil, HIV protease inhibitors containing alcohol (eg, ritonavir), imatinib, lithium, macrolide immunosuppressants (eg, tacrolimus), or mitomycin because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Metronidazole Cream
  • Amphotericin B or oral contraceptives (eg, birth control pills) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Metronidazole Cream

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Metronidazole Cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Metronidazole Cream:

Use Metronidazole Cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Wash and completely dry the affected area.
  • Apply a thin layer of Metronidazole Cream to the affected area. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed.
  • Metronidazole Cream works best if it is taken at the same time each day.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use Metronidazole Cream for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of Metronidazole Cream, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Metronidazole Cream.

Important safety information:

  • Metronidazole Cream in for external use only. Avoid getting Metronidazole Cream in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using Metronidazole Cream and for at least 3 days after the last dose.
  • Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
  • Be sure to use Metronidazole Cream for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Metronidazole Cream may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Metronidazole Cream. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms).
  • Metronidazole Cream is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Metronidazole Cream while you are pregnant. Metronidazole Cream is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Metronidazole Cream, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Metronidazole Cream:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Burning; itching; mild dryness; redness; skin irritation; stinging.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody stools; diarrhea; nausea; stomach cramps/pain; tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Metronidazole Cream may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of Metronidazole Cream:

Store Metronidazole Cream at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Metronidazole Cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Metronidazole Cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Metronidazole Cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Metronidazole Cream. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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