How long does Metronidazole take to work?

24th October 2019

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat a number of different infections. Some of the infections it treats include mouth infections, such as dental abscesses, skin infections, and bacterial vaginosis (BV). A highly effective antibiotic that comes in tablet, liquid, gel, cream, and suppository form, Metronidazole is available only via prescription.

How long does Metronidazole take to work?

The time Metronidazole takes to work will depend on what it has been prescribed to treat. Different infections will take different treatment times and courses of antibiotics. For bacterial vaginosis (BV) you will normally be prescribed a seven-day course of antibiotics where you will take one tablet, twice a day. At the end of this period, all symptoms of BV should have cleared up, although you will probably notice an improvement after only a couple of days.

Even after symptoms appear to have cleared, you should always take antibiotics as prescribed, ensuring that you always finish the full course. While symptoms may clear prior to the end of the course the infection itself does. If you stop taking antibiotics early you could potentially not have cleared up the full infection, which could lead to a return in symptoms.

A woman covering her groin with her hands.

How do I use Metronidazole?

As a prescription-only medicine, Metronidazole should only be used if advised by a registered prescriber. The medicine itself can come in different forms based on what you are treating. For example, BV is treated either as a tablet or as a gel. The choice of what is used usually will come down to the preference of the woman.

Metronidazole tablets are taken by swallowing whole with a glass of water. The tablets will begin to dissolve in the mouth very quickly leading to a number of users complaining of a very strong, metallic taste in the mouth. If this is affecting you then you can try taking the tablets with a glass of milk instead of water as this will help to mask the taste.

What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis, often abbreviated to BV, is an infection that occurs when the pH of a woman’s vagina is disrupted. The pH balance of the human body refers to the level of acids and alkali found in the blood. A change in your pH balance can lead to issues, such as BV. The pH balance of the vagina is delicate, so any slight change to these levels can cause upset.

The most common triggers of BV include sex, the IUD contraceptive device, and basic hygiene practices. Very regular sex, or sex with a number of different partners can trigger BV because of the introduction of a foreign object inside the vagina. If sexual intercourse culminates in ejaculation inside the vagina, this could also be a factor that leads to BV. Semen is very slightly alkaline, so can interfere with the acidity of the vagina. 

Whilst BV can be triggered by sex, it is not a sexually transmitted infection. This is due to the infection being caused by a chemical imbalance in a woman’s body, and not by something that is transmitted from one person to another. Therefore, men cannot get bacterial vaginosis.

Other common ways in which bacteria can enter the vagina, leading to BV, is wearing tight underwear such as a thong, wiping from back to front, or not changing your underwear regularly enough. As well as this “overwashing” can trigger BV as well. Washing can mess with the vagina’s natural chemical balance. A good way to avoid this is by steering clear of heavily scented soaps or perfumes that you use on your delicate areas, try to stick to a gentle wash instead.

A woman sat on the floor with her head in her hands.

What are the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis?

Most of the time women with BV can be asymptomatic and may not even realise that they have the infection. However, there are symptoms to keep an eye out for. The main symptom to note is a strong-smelling vaginal discharge. This discharge could be white or grey in colour, and is usually a very watery consistency. If you have discharge that is thick, it’s more likely to be thrush or another vaginal complaint.

If you notice any significant changes to your intimate health it is important that you get checked out. The majority of vaginal infections, such as BV, are very easy to treat and are harmless, but discharge, foul smells, or bleeding between sex can actually be symptoms of more serious vaginal issues. It is important to get checked out as these could be symptoms of certain kinds of cancers or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

If you are feeling nervous or embarrassed about going to see a doctor face to face then you can always try a self-testing kit at home first. These kits can diagnose common infections such as Thrush, BV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhoea, and are ideal for avoiding any potentially embarrassing appointments with your doctor. However, it is very important to remember that any symptoms that persist after treatment should always be checked by a medical professional.

Are there any side effects to Metronidazole?

Much the same as all medications, Metronidazole does come with a list of potential side effects. While they do vary based on the person, a large number of users have complained of nausea, stomach pains, bloating, and a loss of appetite. If you begin to experience stomach problems such as these then you should try to take the tablets after having some food, and then you should also try to eat something after too. Consumption can ease the impact on your stomach and therefore reduce these side effects.

Where can I get Metronidazole?

As Metronidazole is a prescription-only drug you will need to get a prescription from your doctor or a registered prescriber online. Once you have completed our online consultation and your prescription is approved by one of our registered pharmacies, you can purchase your medication online from UK Meds. Our packet of Metronidazole comes in a pack of 17 tablets with a strength of 400mg so you will be able to clear up any infection you have in no time.