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These medicines are used to cure trichomoniasis by destroying the parasite that causes the condition.
Oral metronidazole can be taken either as a single dose or as multiple doses. A single oral dose of metronidazole can be taken by a pregnant woman if needed.1 Women who are breast-feeding will be instructed by their doctors on the use of metronidazole.
The treatment regimen with tinidazole is usually a one-time dose. Pregnant women should not take tinidazole, because it is not yet clear whether this medicine is safe to use during pregnancy.
The cure rate in treating trichomoniasis using metronidazole is 90% to 95%.1
The cure rate using tinidazole is 86% to 100%.1
Sex partners should be treated at the same time. Sexual intercourse should be avoided until symptoms are gone. Men may not have any symptoms but still need treatment.
People who are infected with HIV receive the same treatment for trich as those who are HIV-negative.
Metronidazole vaginal suppositories or creams are not recommended, because oral metronidazole is much more effective. Vaginal medicines cure trich in less than 50% of cases. Metronidazole vaginal gel, which is used to treat bacterial vaginosis, is not recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for treatment of trich.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of these antibiotics include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
The oral form of these medicines is the most effective treatment for trichomoniasis.
Oral metronidazole can be taken by pregnant women at any time during pregnancy.
While you are taking these medicines and for at least 3 days after your last dose, do not use alcohol or products that contain alcohol.
Trich during pregnancy raises the risk of premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and premature delivery. Treating the infection does not appear to reduce this risk.2 If you are pregnant and have trich, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of treatment.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Trichomoniasis section of Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2010. MMWR, 59(RR-12): 58–61. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2010/default.htm.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2006, reaffirmed 2011). Vaginitis. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 72. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 107(5): 1195–1206.
Last Revised: July 9, 2012
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