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Metronidazole 400mg

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Metronidazole is a medication used to treat symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is a common cause of unusual vaginal discharge, and occurs when there is an imbalance in the bacteria within your vagina.

We only prescribe metronidazole to treat bacterial vaginosis. For dental infections please visit here.

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What is Metronidazole?

Metronidazole, is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication. It is also popularly known by the brandname Flagyl. It is used in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, as well as many other infections.

How does Metronidazole work?

Metronidazole inhibits nucleic acid synthesis by disrupting the DNA of anaerobic microbial cells. This causes cell death, killing the bacteria causing BV.  It has relatively little effect upon human cells or aerobic bacteria.

How do you take it?

One tablet to be taken twice a day for 5 days.


Space the doses evenly, every 12 hours. For example if you take a dose at 9 am you should take the second dose at 9pm.  You must complete the course.


Drinking alcohol whilst taking Metronidazole can make you sick. Avoid drinking alcohol for the duration of your treatment and for at least 72 hours after the course is complete.

How effective is Metronidazole 400mg?

Metronidazole is effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis. However, most women who experience BV are likely to re-develop symptoms within three months of successful treatment.

What are the main side effects?

Like any medicines, Metronidazole can cause side effects. These side effects are usually mild to moderate, and typically only last a short duration.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects. For a list of side effects, please see the patient information leaflet.

Frequently Asked Questions & Additional Information

How can I treat bacterial vaginosis (BV)?


There are many ways to try to treat of bacterial vaginosis. Some women may prefer BV medication, such as metronidazole tablets. Other women with BV may try home remedies to treat the infection. Although treating or trying to cure BV at home is not proven to work. Home remedies may not work at all or make the bacterial infection worse.


Can I buy Metronidazole tablets online?


You can buy Metronidazole tablets online. Always ensure  you are buying from a genuine UK pharmacy. You can check if a pharmacy is legal and registered by visiting the GPhC website (General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain).

Avoid buying medicines from overseas online websites. These unregistered pharmacies may be supplying you with counterfeit medication. Counterfeit medication may cause serious harm to your health.


Can I buy  Metronidazole OTC (over the counter)?


You cannot you buy Metronidazole tablets over the counter. This is because it is a prescription medication.  


Flagyl (metronidazole) for bacterial vaginosis (BV):


Flagyl (metronidazole) is an antibiotic that treats infections of the vagina. Flagyl is a branded version of Metronidazole tablets. Flagyl (metronidazole) also treats other conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease.


Bacterial Vaginosis - Over the counter BV treatment:


You cannot get metronidazole tablets, gel or Dalacin Cream over the counter. Metronidazole antibiotic tablets are prescription only medicines. OTC treatment for BV are not antibiotic. Over the counter treatments can help re-balance the bacterial flora in the vagina, but are less effective than antibiotics.


Which antibiotics for vaginal infection?


To treat bacterial vaginosis you may be prescribed any of the following antibiotics:

  • Metronidazole (Flagyl) tablets
  • Clindamycin (Dalacin) cream
  • Metronidazole gel (Zidoval)

Antibiotics for vagina infection will not treat yeast infections. Yeast infection treatment requires anti-fungal treatment. Yeast infections are also referred to as thrush. Thrush is not caused by bacteria. If you are unsure if you are suffering from BV or thrush, you can use Canestest.


Is there a cure for bacterial vaginosis?


The only sure and scientifically proven way to treat bacterial infections is with antibiotics. If you have a severe BV infection, it is essential that you take antibiotics and do not solely rely on home or natural remedies. 

Some women claim to have found natural remedies that help them with vaginal infections. Natural remedies may not be effective. You can help yourself by getting vaginal gels over the counter at your local pharmacy. Canesten over the counter gels for BV are not antibacterial, and may not cure BV. However, they do encourage the healthy balance of pH in the vagina which helps alleviate symptoms. 

Other popular home remedies for preventing bacterial vaginosis include taking the following:

  • Acidophilus tablets with
  • Vitamin b complex
  • Vitamin d3 daily.

Home remedies and natural treatments may help regulate vaginal flora. But they may not be a cure for bacterial vaginosis. The only clinically proven way to treat bacterial vaginosis is to take antibiotics. The anitbiotics kills the bad bacteria causing bacterial vaginosis (BV).


What antibiotics treat BV?


The following antibiotics treat bacterial vaginosis (BV):

  • Metronidazole tablets or gel
  • Clindamycin cream (Dalacin)
  • Tinidazole (Tindamax)

BV can be treated successfully with these antibiotics, which require prescriptions. 


What does metronidazole 400mg treat?


Metronidazole treats a wide variety of infections. These infections are caused by anaerobic bacteria and micro-organisms called protozoa. These organisms and bacteria do not need oxygen to survive. Metronidazole commonly treats bacterial vaginosis (BV), but also treats the following infections:

  • Dental infections
  • Pelvic cavity
  • Stomach or intestines

Metronidazole is prescribed before gynecological surgery or intestinal surgery. This is to prevent bacterial infections from developing. Metronidazole is used as an alternative to penicillin, for those who have allergic reactions to penicillin.


Can Metronidazole cause thrush?


Metronidazole can cause thrush. Thrush is a yeast infection (not a bacterial infection). Thrush needs to be treated with antifungal medication. If you get thrush after taking a course of antibiotics it may be useful to get thrush medication too.


How long does metronidazole take to work for BV?


Your symptoms should start clearing up within a few days of taking metronidazole. You should always complete the course of metronidazole antibiotics. This is to ensure the infection has been cleared and to prevent reinfection.


Will my sexual partner also need treatment with Metronidazole for bacterial vaginosis?


If your sexual partner is a male, then no. Men cannot get infected with bacterial vaginosis. However, if your partner is female, you should both be treated for BV. This is because BV can spread from one woman to another. 


How to get Metronidazole over the counter?


You cannot get Metronidazole tablets or any antibiotics over the counter. 


Having sex while taking Metronidazole ok?


If your partner is male, you can continue to have sex while taking Metronidazole. However if your partner is  female, you are advised to avoid sexual activities until your symptoms have cleared and you have completed treatment. This is to avoid reinfection.


Can I have Metronidazole and alcohol?


Can you drink whilst taking metronidazole? The answer is no. You cannot drink whilst taking metronidazole. Try not to drink for 3 days after your treatment has finished. If you do drink alcohol you can experience very bad nausea and vomiting.


More Information
Dosage 400mg
Dosage Instructions Please see medicine label for the dosage instructions.