How Effective Is Metronidazole for Trichomoniasis?

B. Chisholm
B. Chisholm
Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy should avoid taking metronidazole to treat trichomoniasis.
Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy should avoid taking metronidazole to treat trichomoniasis.

Metronidazole for trichomoniasis is very effective and is usually given as a single dose, although it may be given for longer. Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease and treatment of both sexual partners is necessary to prevent recurrence of the disease. Metronidazole for trichomoniasis is taken orally, and is usually available by prescription only. It is known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer.

Trich is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, up to age 30.
Trich is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, up to age 30.

Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoal organism called Trichomonas vaginalis which is almost exclusively transmitted sexually. Risk of transmission can be minimized by using condoms and having fewer sexual partners. Women with trichomoniasis may present with a foul smelling discolored vaginal discharge. They may also experience pain on urination and during sexual intercourse. Men with trichomoniasis tend to be asymptomatic, which puts them at risk of spreading the disease without knowing it.

Should a woman experience any of these symptoms, medical treatment should be sought immediately, as they may indicate trichomoniasis, or other sexually-transmitted diseases. Simultaneous treatment of both partners with metronidazole for trichomoniasis is necessary to prevent the infection from passing back and forth. Non-treatment in pregnant women may result in preterm birth, low birth weight or transmission of the disease to the baby. It is thought that trichomoniasis infection may also put the person at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV, which is incurable.

When using metronidazole for trichomoniasis, it may be given as a single dose or a seven day course. The full prescribed course must be completed to prevent recurrence and resistance. Alcohol must be avoided completely while taking metronidazole, and for some time after, as their use together can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Other side effects which may occur while on treatment include headache and dizziness. Should severe side effects be experienced, medical help should be sought.

As with any medication, interactions may occur between metronidazole and other medications. Any drugs, including homeopathic, complementary and over-the-counter drugs must be discussed with the prescribing doctor before starting metronidazole for trichomoniasis. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and lactation should also be discussed.

While metronidazole is effective for trichomoniasis, many people may be co-infected with other sexually transmitted diseases, or the symptoms may be indicative of another disease. Often sexually transmitted diseases are treated syndromically, that is, people with symptoms are treated with three antibiotics which will treat the three most common sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and chlamydia, at the same time.

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Discussion Comments

ddljohn

Metronidazole wasn't very effective for me. I had to take two rounds of it and the second round, I took it with another antibiotic. Only then did the trichomoniasis clear up.

burcidi

@literally45-- Yes metronidazole is still being used for trichomoniasis. I was prescribed the medication just last year.

Metronidazole is not a new medication, I believe it's been in use for more than forty years now. Some organisms might have developed resistance to it, but I don't think it's a major concern for the treatment of tricomoniasis. My doctor never mentioned anything about this.

A single course of metronidazole treated my tricomoniasis as well as my partner's. So I think it's still very much effective.

literally45

I've heard that the protozoal organisms that cause giardiasis have developed resistance to metronidazole and that it's not effective against them anymore.

Is this the case with trichomoniasis and metronidazole as well? Is metronidazole still being used for trichomoniasis or are there other more preferred medications?

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    • Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy should avoid taking metronidazole to treat trichomoniasis.
      Women who are in the early stages of pregnancy should avoid taking metronidazole to treat trichomoniasis.
    • Trich is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, up to age 30.
      Trich is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, up to age 30.