Medications And Treatments For Bacterial Vaginosis

By Sheryl Eleazar | Last Updated December 21, 2012

Bacterial Vaginosis may disappear after some time, but leaving it untreated can lead to other serious health issues. It is always best to consult a doctor to know which medications are appropriate and which ones may do more harm than good.

a glass half-filled with pills and tablets

Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina caused by bacteria. 1

From the name alone, you can already infer that this condition, common among women, is brought about by bacteria. Yet, it is also important to point out that bacteria are of two kinds: the good and the bad.  The good ones are responsible for controlling the growth of the bad bacteria so that a balance is achieved. This balance is important to maintaining a healthy vagina.  When the amount of good bacteria decreases, bad bacteria are free to grow rapidly. Although Bacterial vaginosis will typically go away on its own after several days, it is certainly unsafe to leave it untreated due to possible infections and subsequent complications that may occur from it. Therefore, seeing the doctor for diagnosis and treatment is highly recommended.

Below are some of the commonly prescribed medications for Bacterial vaginosis or BV.

Clindamycin cream

Clindamycin cream is applied into the vagina and works by killing the bacteria causing the infection. 2  

The cream, which is also available as a vaginal suppository, is applied unto or into the infected area where it will kill the bacteria responsible for the infection.  Aside from BV, this medication is also used for treating infections of the joints and bones, and even as an effective treatment for acne.

Contraindications

The use of this drug is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, patients with inflammatory bowel disorder, people with severe diarrhea after administration of antibiotic/s, people with allergic reactions to medicines and to women who could be using other treatments for BV with no prescription.

Precautions

If your mode of contraception is a diaphragm or condoms, you might need to consider other methods during the treatment as it damages the said contraceptives.

Administration

Use this medication according to your doctor’s instructions. If none were given, you can always read the manufacturer’s leaflet that comes with the pack.  Unless otherwise stated, this cream should be used solely for vaginal topical application. Typically, the cream should be applied at bedtime during the usual treatment course of 3-7 days.

Possible Side Effects

Itching and irritation – These are common and expected when you first use the cream, but as you continue with the treatment and your condition improves, you will also gradually get used to it.

Diarrhea – If you ever develop this condition, you should immediately ask your doctor for advice before the next application.

Proper Storage

It should be kept in a dry and cool place that is also not directly exposed to light and heat. The storage area must also not be accessible to children.

Metronidazole

Metronidazole is used for infections caused by anaerobic bacteria or micro-organisms called protozoa. It works by killing the bacteria or protozoa. 3  

Anaerobic bacteria are those that do not require oxygen in order to grow and thrive. The vaginal area is, therefore, an ideal place for them to multiply.  Apart from treating BV, Metronidazole is also administered for the prevention of infection in gynecological and intestinal surgeries.

Contraindications

There are also certain instances when the use of this medication may not be safe or appropriate for certain patients. Such conditions are as follows: when you have liver problem; when you are undergoing kidney dialysis; when you are pregnant; when you are attempting to conceive; when you are breast feeding; if you are alcohol dependent; if you have porphyria (a rare disorder of the blood); if you are using other medications and if you are allergic to medicines.

Administration

Follow your doctor’s instructions or the instructions written on the accompanying leaflet. Do not take the tablet on an empty stomach. Swallow the tablet whole and do not chew or break it. In case you miss a dose, take it as soon as you recall you have forgotten taking your medicine. However, if its already too near the time for taking the next dose, simply leave it out and never take two doses at a time. Continue the treatment throughout the duration your doctor has prescribed even if you are already feeling fine.

Stay away from alcohol during the treatment for at least 48 hours after the treatment course is completed. Otherwise, the medicine and alcohol would interact with one another causing unwanted effects that will make you feel sick. If you are taking other drugs for other conditions like cough or cold, consult with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Possible Side Effects

Sick Feeling – If you experience this, make sure you eat light and choose simple foods only. It is important that the medicine be taken after you have had a meal or a snack.

Mouth Sore – Ask your pharmacist about any oral hygiene product, like a mouth wash, that you can use .

Lack of Appetite – This will eventually pass, but during the treatment, choose foods that you find tastier than the others.

Proper Storage

Just like most medicines, it should be kept in dry and cool places beyond the reach of kids.

A young punk rocker woman was brought to the emergency room due to intense abdominal pain. She wore strange clothes, sported a purple colored Mohawk hair style and had lots of different tattoos. It was determined that she had acute appendicitis and needed immediate surgery.

On the operating table, she was disrobed and the staff discovered that she dyed her pubic hair green and above it was a tattoo that read ‘ Keep off the grass’. After the surgery, the surgeon placed a dressing on the fresh wound where he wrote a short note saying ‘Sorry, the lawn had to be mown’

Tinidazole

Tinidazole is an antiprotozoal and antibiotic. It works by killing sensitive parasites and bacteria. 4  

This medication can also kill anaerobic bacteria, just like the previous BV medication.

Contraindications

Same indications as with Metronidazole apply to Tinidazole.

Administration

Doses for taking Tinidazole will vary according to the severity of the infection. For BV, you have to follow your doctor’s order. Proper administration and safety measures of metronidazole are also applicable to this medication.

Possible Side Effects

Tinidazole can also produce the same adverse effects that Metronidazole  (i.e. lack of appetite, upset stomach and mouth sore.

Proper Storage

The medication should be kept in a dry and cool area where children have no access to it.




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