Symptomatic Trichomoniasis. Metronidazole tablets are indicated for the treatment of T. vaginalis infection in females and males when the presence of the trichomonad has been confirmed by appropriate laboratory procedures (wet smears and/or cultures).
Asymptomatic Trichomoniasis. Metronidazole tablets are indicated in the treatment of asymptomatic T. vaginalis infection in females when the organism is associated with endocervicitis, cervicitis, or cervical erosion. Since there is evidence that presence of the trichomonad can interfere with accurate assessment of abnormal cytological smears, additional smears should be performed after eradication of the parasite.
Treatment of Asymptomatic Sexual Partners. T. vaginalis infection is a venereal disease. Therefore, asymptomatic sexual partners of treated patients should be treated simultaneously if the organism has been found to be present, in order to prevent reinfection of the partner. The decision as to whether to treat an asymptomatic male partner who has a negative culture or one for whom no culture has been attempted is an individual one. In making this decision, it should be noted that there is evidence that a woman may become reinfected if her sexual partner is not treated. Also, since there can be considerable difficulty in isolating the organism from the asymptomatic male carrier, negative smears and cultures cannot be relied upon in this regard. In any event, the sexual partner should be treated with metronidazole tablets in cases of reinfection.
Amebiasis Metronidazole tablets are indicated in the treatment of acute intestinal amebiasis (amebic dysentery) and amebic liver abscess.
In amebic liver abscess, Metronidazole tablet therapy does not obviate the need for aspiration or drainage of pus.
Anaerobic Bacterial Infections. Metronidazole tablets are indicated in the treatment of serious infections caused by susceptible anaerobic bacteria. Indicated surgical procedures should be performed in conjunction with metronidazole tablet therapy. In a mixed aerobic and anaerobic infection, antimicrobials appropriate for the treatment of the aerobic infection should be used in addition to metronidazole tablets.
INTRA-ABDOMINAL INFECTIONS, including peritonitis, intra-abdominal abscess, and liver abscess, caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group ( B. fragilis, B. distasonis, B. ovatus, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. vulgatus), Clostridium species, Eubacterium species, Peptococcus species, and Peptostreptococcus species.
SKIN AND SKIN STRUCTURE INFECTIONS caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group, Clostridium species, Peptococcus species, Peptostreptococcus species, and Fusobacterium species.
GYNECOLOGIC INFECTIONS, including endometritis, endomyometritis, tubo-ovarian abscess, and postsurgical vaginal cuff infection, caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group, Clostridium species, Peptococcus species, Peptostreptococcus species, and Fusobacterium species.
BACTERIAL SEPTICEMIA caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group and Clostridium species.
BONE AND JOINT INFECTIONS, (as adjunctive therapy), caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS) INFECTIONS, including meningitis and brain abscess, caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group.
LOWER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS, including pneumonia, empyema, and lung abscess, caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group.
ENDOCARDITIS caused by Bacteroides species including the B. fragilis group.
To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of metronidazole tablets and other antibacterial drugs, metronidazole tablets should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.
In patients with trichomoniasis, metronidazole tablet are contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS).
Use of oral metronidazole is associated with psychotic reactions in alcoholic patients who were using disulfiram concurrently. Do not administer metronidazole to patients who have taken disulfiram within the last two weeks (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).
Use of oral metronidazole is associated with a disulfiram-like reaction to alcohol, including abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing. Discontinue consumption of alcohol or products containing propylene glycol during and for at least three days after therapy with metronidazole (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).
Encephalopathy has been reported in association with cerebellar toxicity characterized by ataxia, dizziness, and dysarthria. CNS lesions seen on MRI have been described in reports of encephalopathy. CNS symptoms are generally reversible within days to weeks upon discontinuation of metronidazole. CNS lesions seen on MRI have also been described as reversible.
Peripheral neuropathy, mainly of sensory type has been reported and is characterized by numbness or paresthesia of an extremity.
Convulsive seizures have been reported in patients treated with metronidazole.
Aseptic meningitis: Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported with metronidazole. Symptoms can occur within hours of dose administration and generally resolve after metronidazole therapy is discontinued.
The appearance of abnormal neurologic signs and symptoms demands the prompt evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of the continuation of therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Cases of severe hepatotoxicity/acute hepatic failure, including cases with a fatal outcome with very rapid onset after treatment initiation in patients with Cockayne syndrome have been reported with products containing metronidazole for systemic use. In this population, metronidazole should therefore be used after careful benefit-risk assessment and only if no alternative treatment is available. Obtain liver function tests prior to the start of therapy, within the first 2-3 days after initiation of therapy, frequently during therapy and after end of treatment. Discontinue metronidazole if elevation of liver function tests occurs, and monitor liver function tests until the baseline values are reached.
Advise patients with Cockayne syndrome to stop taking metronidazole immediately if they experience any symptoms of potential liver injury, such as abdominal pain, nausea, change in stool color or jaundice, and to contact their healthcare provider.
Patients with hepatic impairment metabolize metronidazole slowly, with resultant accumulation of metronidazole in the plasma. For patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C), a reduced dose of metronidazole is recommended. For patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment, no dosage adjustment is needed but these patients should be monitored for metronidazole associated adverse events (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Patients with end-stage renal disease may excrete metronidazole and metabolites slowly in the urine, resulting in significant accumulation of metronidazole metabolites. Monitoring for metronidazole associated adverse events is recommended (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Known or previously unrecognized candidiasis may present more prominent symptoms during therapy with metronidazole and requires treatment with a candidacidal agent.
Use in Patients with Blood Dyscrasias
Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole and should be used with caution in patients with evidence of or history of blood dyscrasia. A mild leukopenia has been observed during its administration; however, no persistent hematologic abnormalities attributable to metronidazole have been observed in clinical studies. Total and differential leukocyte counts are recommended before and after therapy.
Drug-Resistant Bacteria and Parasites
Prescribing metronidazole in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial or parasitic infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria and parasites.
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