Metronidazole Cream: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, More

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Metronidazole cream is an effective topical treatment for inflammatory red bumps and pimples caused by rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disease that causes pimples and redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead.

Metronidazole topical medication is available in 3 forms: cream, lotion, and gel. This article discusses metronidazole cream, its uses, side effects, interactions and more.

What is metronidazole?

Metronidazole is a commonly prescribed antibiotic in the nitroimidazole class used to treat parasitic infections such as giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and amebiasis.

Metronidazole treats a wide range of bacterial and parasitic infections and is available in capsule, tablet, and topical gel forms.

Metronidazole is also available as a suppository to be inserted into the body to treat parasitic infections, including bacterial vaginosis.

Need a prescription for Metronidazole?

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What is metronidazole cream used for?

Metronidazole topical treatment comes in different forms, including creams. Metronidazole cream treats rosacea by reducing inflammation and eliminating bacteria growth on the skin.

Rosacea is a long-term skin infection that causes inflammation and redness on the face. Applying topical metronidazole to the affected skin is an effective treatment.

Precautions to note before using metronidazole

Metronidazole antibiotic cream is typically mild and has minimal side effects. However, some precautions and points must be considered before using this medication.

This medication is a prescription antibiotic and must be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional. Before recommending, your doctor would want to know if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Damaged or burned skin (considerably large area on your body)
  • An allergic reaction to metronidazole, foods, dyes, or other medications.
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Breast-feeding
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant

Read also: Metronidazole Vaginal Gel: Uses, Interactions, Side Effects, More

How to apply metronidazole antibiotic cream

This topical antibiotic is meant for external use and should only be used as prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional. Rub a light film of the antibiotic cream on the infected skin area. Do not use more than recommended.

Ensure to wash your hands before and after use. Do not put the cream in your eyes. If it gets into your eyes, rinse them with plenty of clean, cool water. Apply metronidazole antibiotic cream to the infected skin as directed on the prescription label daily.

You must complete the treatment plan as directed by your doctor, even if your symptoms ease and your skin looks better.

It is vital to regularly check in with your doctor so they can monitor your progress once you start using this medication.

Possible side effects

Metronidazole antibiotic cream is a tested and trusted treatment for rosacea. However, some people may react to this medication in adverse ways. Ensure to report any side effects you experience to your doctor while using this cream.

Common side effects

Possible side effects include the following;

  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Tingling or pain in the hands or feet
  • Allergic reactions like hives, itching, or skin rash
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, or tongue

The common side effects of metronidazole antibiotic cream typically don’t require medical attention before they ease. However, some people may experience side effects that don’t diminish.

4 common side effects of metronidazole

Less common side effects

Inform your doctor immediately if you experience;

  • Skin irritation, flaking, dryness or redness
  • A metallic taste in your mouth
  • Increased skin tears after use
  • Unsteadiness
  • Weakness in the legs and arms

Metronidazole drug interactions

This topical medication is reliably effective against rosacea. However, it is vital to note the possible counterindication of using metronidazole antibiotic cream.

Metronidazole antibiotic cream may interact with warfarin and any product you’re using that contains alcohol.

Inform your doctor of all the medications, dietary supplements, or non-prescription medicines you’re using. You should also let your doctor know if you drink alcohol, use recreational drugs, or smoke.

How to store metronidazole antibiotic cream

Proper storage is vital to its effectiveness and validity. Metronidazole antibiotic cream should be stored in a closed container at room temperature, away from sunlight, moisture, and heat exposure. It should also be kept away from the freezer and out of the reach of children.

Do not keep the medication longer than needed, and talk to your doctor about how to dispose of the medicines you’re not using.

When to see a doctor

Metronidazole is a prescription medication. Before using this medicine, you must speak to your care provider to avoid unwanted complications. It is also vital to check in with your care provider to track your treatment progress.

In addition, this medication may cause complications like nerve problems, burning, tingling, or pain in the arms and feet.

Unwanted skin reactions like dermatitis may occur. Tell your doctor if you have crusting, dryness, burning, blistering, or skin flaking. In addition, tell your doctor if you have severe redness, swelling or soreness of the skin.

Read next: Is It Safe to Combine Nitrofurantoin and Ibuprofen?

Frequently Asked Questions

The dosage for this medication differs from person to person and depends on the severity of the skin infection. Following your doctor’s instructions is vital to avoid unwanted adverse effects.

The amount of medication you’ll require depends on its strength. Your doctor will determine how frequently you’ll use your medications after considering the severity of your symptoms.

For metronidazole antibiotic cream, your doctor would likely recommend the following dosage to treat rosacea:

Adults: Rub the cream on the affected skin area once daily

Children: dosage must be determined by a qualified healthcare giver.

It would be best if you avoided metronidazole during pregnancy. The use of this medication in the early stages of pregnancy has been linked to miscarriage.

However, some researchers suggest underlying maternal infection may be responsible for the heightened risk of miscarriage.

Metronidazole vaginal gel has different brand names, including Metrogel. Metrogel vaginal gel can be used to treat chronic adult acne.

Chronic adult acne or rosacea is a condition that inflames the facial skin and causes sores.

This medication is highly effective against rosacea and chronic acne. Your doctor may recommend using metronidazole for other conditions. While this medication is generally mild, some side effects may occur.

Most of the side effects that occur do not require medical attention before they resolve. However, some adverse effects may require talking to your doctor.

Very rarely, some people may experience back pain as a side effect of metronidazole.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.