Antibiotics used to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV) either come in an oral or vaginal form. The oral form is taken by mouth as a pill or tablet. Vaginally, a woman may use creams, gels, or suppository options (called ovules) to treat their symptoms. An applicator is often used to insert the correct amount of medicine. Depending on your personal preference, symptoms, and current health – you may find a method of treatment between a handful of oral and vaginal medications. The antibiotics for BV work by destroying some of the bacteria that causes symptoms.
Oral Bacterial Vaginosis Medication
Oral forms of antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis include clindamycin (Cleocin), metronidazole (Flagyl), and tinidazole (Tindamax), which is only available in oral form . Oral bacterial vaginosis medication is the method of treatment selected for pregnant women who are high-risk for early labor. Most doctors will prescribe oral medications for BV to expectant mothers to avoid inserting drugs into the vaginal region.
Oral BV Treatments – Possible Side Effects
Oral treatments can cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Oral metronidazole or tinidazole can also create an unpleasant, metallic taste in the mouth. When taking oral BV medications, it is important to completely avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. This also includes refraining from taking non-prescription medicines, such as NyQuil. Combining alcohol with oral metronidazole or tinidazole can bring on severe vomiting and nausea.
Vaginal Bacterial Vaginosis Medication
Vaginal forms of antibiotics for bacterial vaginosis treatment include clindamycin (Clindesse) and metronidazole (MetroGel). Women who wish to avoid possible side effects when taking bacterial vaginosis medication often choose vaginal treatments. This type of medication will not cause nausea and vomiting – unlike oral remedies. Minor side effects have been reported with the use of vaginal bacterial vaginosis medication, such as a yeast infection in the vagina that takes place during or after treatment.
Vaginal BV Treatments – Possible Side Effects
It is also important to note that the oil found in clindamycin cream and ovules can weaken the latex in condoms and diaphragms. A woman is then more susceptible to contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or becoming pregnant.
Bacterial Vaginosis Medication and Pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control, bacterial vaginosis treatment is recommended for any time during pregnancy. Oral metronidazole or oral clindamycin is often administered during the second and third trimester . These kinds of treatments do not seem to cause any harm to the fetus. However, not all bacterial vaginosis medications can be given to a pregnant woman.
For example, clindamycin vaginal cream is not recommended for treating an expectant mother. Studies have shown that the cream form of clindamycin is linked to a slightly increased risk for preterm birth.
Typical Dosing for Bacterial Vaginosis Medications
The dosage for bacterial vaginosis medication differs according to the method of treatment. Typical treatment regimens include:
• Flagyl: 750 mg (extended release tablets) once daily for 7 days. One applicator-full of 0.75% vaginal gel is recommended once or twice daily for 5 days.
• Cleocin: 300 mg orally twice daily.
• Clindesse: Clindesse (clindamycin phosphate) vaginal cream, 2%, is the only one-dose treatment available for women with bacterial vaginosis.
• Tindomax: 250- and 500-mg tablets are given in 2-g oral doses once daily for two days, or 1-g oral dose once daily for five days.
• MetroGel: The recommended dose is one applicator full (approximately 5 grams containing about 37.5 mg of metronidazole), which is used intravaginally once or twice a day for 5 days.