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MetroGel vs. Flagyl

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are MetroGel and Flagyl the Same Thing?

MetroGel (metronidazole) and Flagyl, Flagyl ER, and Flagyl Injection (metronidazole) are different forms of the same antibiotic used to treat different conditions.

MetroGel is a topical (for the skin) gel used to treat skin lesions caused by rosacea.

Flagyl, Flagyl ER, and Flagyl Injection are used to treat bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, amebiasis, and anaerobic bacterial infections.

Side effects of MetroGel and Flagyl that are similar include a metallic taste in the mouth or changes in taste, nausea, or headache.

Side effects of MetroGel that are different from Flagyl include application site reactions (skin stinging, burning, irritation, dryness, redness, scaling), numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet, cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, cold symptoms, or vaginal itching or discharge.

Side effects of Flagyl that are different from MetroGel include abdominal cramps, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, dizziness, dry mouth, or dark-colored urine.

Both MetroGel and Flagyl may interact with blood thinners.

Flagyl may also interact with alcohol, propylene glycol, busulfan, or lithium.

What Are Possible Side Effects of MetroGel?

Common side effects of MetroGel include:

  • skin stinging/burning/irritation/dryness/ redness/scaling/itching,
  • metallic taste,
  • nausea,
  • headache,
  • numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet,
  • cough,
  • stuffy nose,
  • sore throat,
  • cold symptoms, or
  • vaginal itching or discharge.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Flagyl?

Common side effects of Flagyl include:

  • nausea,
  • abdominal cramps,
  • stomach upset,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • weight loss (anorexia),
  • dizziness,
  • dry mouth,
  • dark-colored urine, or
  • a metallic taste in the mouth or changes in taste.

Uncomfortable side effects that may become serious are:

  • fevers,
  • pain with urination,
  • mouth sores,
  • tingling or pricking sensations that may become permanent,
  • brain disease, and
  • seizures.

Serious but unlikely side effects of Flagyl include:

What Is MetroGel?

MetroGel (metronidazole) Topical gel is a topical (for the skin) antibiotic used to treat skin lesions caused by rosacea. MetroGel is available in generic form.

What Is Flagyl?

Flagyl, Flagyl ER, and Flagyl Injection (metronidazole) are antimicrobial drugs used to treat bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, amebiasis, and anaerobic bacterial infections.

What Drugs Interact With MetroGel?

Metrogel may interact with blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin). It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied Metrogel. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Metrogel should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. Metrogel passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Flagyl?

Flagyl may interact with blood thinners or seizure medications.

Flagyl may also interact with cimetidine, lithium, or disulfiram.

How Should MetroGel Be Taken?

Apply and rub in a thin film dose of Metrogel once daily to affected area(s).

How Should Flagyl Be Taken?

Flagyl is supplied in 250 and 500 mg strength tablets, Flagyl ER is available in 750 mg strength tablets, and Flagyl Injection in 500 mg strength in a buffered 100 ml vial. Dosage is quite variable and dependent upon the severity of disease and other considerations made by the treating physician. Most of the serious side effects may occur with any of these three preparations of Flagyl. Flagyl may cause liver enzyme levels to increase; lithium and creatinine levels should be checked to avoid lithium toxicity or renal compromise. Alcohol may increase the side effects of Flagyl. Patients on disulfiram should not take Flagyl until they have had a two week interval without taking disulfiram, especially alcoholic patients, to avoid psychotic reactions. Treatment in pregnant women (during first 3 months is not advised) or women who are breastfeeding should only be done if the benefits outweigh the potential problems. Flagyl passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Except for use in amebiasis, studies in pediatric patients are not available; Flagyl ER has no pediatric studies.

Reviewed on 3/13/2019

References:
DailyMed. MetroGel Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=ab3a8a2d-714a-4beb-af8a-99bc3ac3ebbe
Pfizer. Flagyl Product Information.
https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/flagyl/warnings

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