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Following a single, intravaginal 5 gram dose of metronidazole vaginal gel (equivalent to 37.5 mg of metronidazole) to 12 normal subjects, a mean maximum serum metronidazole concentration of 237 ng/mL was reported (range: 152 to 368 ng/mL). This is approximately 2% of the mean maximum serum metronidazole concentration reported in the same subjects administered a single, oral 500 mg dose of metronidazole (mean Cmax = 12,785 ng/mL, range: 10,013 to 17,400 ng/mL). These peak concentrations were obtained in 6 to 12 hours after dosing with metronidazole vaginal gel and 1 to 3 hours after dosing with oral metronidazole. The extent of exposure [area under the curve (AUC)] of metronidazole, when administered as a single intravaginal 5 gram dose of metronidazole vaginal gel (equivalent to 37.5 mg of metronidazole), was approximately 4% of the AUC of a single oral 500 mg dose of metronidazole (4977 ng-hr/mL and approximately 125,000 ng-hr/mL, respectively).
Dose-adjusted comparisons of AUCs demonstrated that, on a mg to mg comparison basis, the absorption of metronidazole, when administered vaginally, was approximately half that of an equivalent oral dosage.
Patients with Bacterial Vaginosis
Following single and multiple 5 gram doses of metronidazole vaginal gel to 4 patients with bacterial vaginosis, a mean maximum serum metronidazole concentration of 214 ng/mL on day 1 and 294 ng/mL (range: 228 to 349 ng/mL) on day five were reported. Steady state metronidazole serum concentrations following oral dosages of 400 to 500 mg BID have been reported to range from 6,000 to 20,000 ng/mL.
The intracellular targets of action of metronidazole on anaerobes are largely unknown. The 5-nitro group of metronidazole is reduced by metabolically active anaerobes, and studies have demonstrated that the reduced form of the drug interacts with bacterial DNA. However, it is not clear whether interaction with DNA alone is an important component in the bactericidal action of metronidazole on anaerobic organisms.
Standard methodology for the susceptibility testing of the potential bacterial vaginosis pathogens, Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus spp., and Mycoplasma hominis, has not been defined. Nonetheless, metronidazole is an antimicrobial agent active in vitro against most strains of the following organisms that have been reported to be associated with bacterial vaginosis:
In a randomized, single-blind clinical trial of non-pregnant women with bacterial vaginosis who received METROGEL-VAGINAL (metronidazole) daily for 5 days, the clinical cure rates for evaluable patients determined at 4 weeks after completion of therapy for the QD and BID regimens were 98/185 (53%) and 109/190 (57%), respectively.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/20/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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