If you are one of the many women who suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV), you may be prescribed antibiotics such as Metronidazole. Before taking this medication, it is important to understand the potential side effects. This article will discuss common and serious side effects associated with Metronidazole, as well as what to do when you experience them.
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition caused by an overgrowth of bacteria normally found in the vagina. A microorganism called “lactobacillus” usually keeps the vagina in its acidic state, helping prevent infections. In bacterial vaginosis, there is an increase in certain bacteria called Gardnerella vaginalis  and Mycoplasma hominis , which release toxins or enzymes which kill other bacteria in the vagina. The lack of competition for space allows this bacterium to outgrow others in the vagina and produce an imbalance. These species of bacteria are also sometimes present in healthy women so it’s difficult to diagnose this infection solely on these bacteria.
Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted disease and can affect any woman of childbearing age, although it more frequently affects those who have unprotected and frequent sex, have an IUD (Intrauterine Device), those who douche regularly or are pregnant. Douching washes away natural bacteria inside the vaginal canal so it becomes easier for harmful bacteria or other germs to grow. Certain ethnicities, such as black women, are also statistically more likely to develop the condition. 
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection among women ages 15-44 . After menopause, it occurs more frequently because estrogen and progesterone production decreases which allows colonization of harmful bacteria .
Bacterial vaginosis can also often be confused with thrush, have a look at our article that compares the two and lets you know how to tell the difference. Here are the most common symptoms of Thrush, as it is important to recognize your symptoms to get the correct treatment. In addition, women should be aware of the differences between a UTI and Thrush, as these conditions are very common and can overlap.
Some women have no symptoms at all – about 50% of all women with bacterial vaginosis don’t (6). If you do experience symptoms, they may include :
Metronidazole tablets are prescription medications used to treat bacterial vaginosis (BV) in adult women. Metronidazole is an antibiotic that treats the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria by targeting it with an antimicrobial agent. Metronidazole is effective against anaerobic microorganisms, such as those that cause BV. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and allowing the body’s natural defenses to take over and restore normal vaginal flora.
Some antibiotics, including Metronidazole, have serious side effects that could harm you. It’s important for you to know what side effects might happen before taking this medicine so that you can avoid them or seek medical attention right away if you do have any symptoms.
Common Metronidazole side effects may include  :
These Metronidazole side effects are typically mild and will likely go away once you stop using the medication.
Severe Metronidazole side effects though rare can be life-threatening for certain individuals. Please be aware that your GP/Pharmacist will only prescribe this medication if it is safe to do so, and will be happy to answer any concerns you may have. You can connect with an e-Surgery pharmacist online for free using our Ask-a-Pharmacist service. Those that require immediate medical attention include:
You can easily and securely purchase Metronidazole tablets for bacterial vaginosis from e-Surgery, a registered and reputed online pharmacy.
It is available as a 7-day course, with one 400mg tablet to be taken twice daily on a full stomach. Avoid alcohol consumption while on the antibiotic course and till 48 hours after finishing the medication.
Although Metronidazole tablets are a common and effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis, they may cause some side effects. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects before you begin taking the medication.
Before beginning any medication, let your GP know so that you don’t experience any cross-medications. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the above side effects. If a severe or rare side effect occurs, stop using Metronidazole and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical assistance.