Background and objectives: Trichomonas vaginalis is a common vaginal pathogen. Oral metronidazole is the drug of choice for the treatment of trichomoniasis. Oral metronidazole, however, may cause unpleasant side effects and is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy. In vitro studies and preliminary clinical data have suggested that intravaginal clotrimazole may be effective against this pathogen.
Goals: To compare the efficacy of clotrimazole vaginal tablets, oral metronidazole, and vaginal suppositories containing sulfanilamide, aminacrine, and allantoin (AVC suppositories) in the treatment of women with symptomatic trichomoniasis.
Study design: In a multicenter, open-label trial conducted in 1982 and 1983, 168 symptomatic women with microscopically evident vaginal trichomoniasis were randomized to receive any of 2 g of metronidazole as a single oral dose, two 100-mg clotrimazole vaginal tablets once a day for 7 days, or vaginal suppositories containing 1.05 g of sulfanilamide, 14 mg of aminacrine hydrochloride, and 140 mg of allantoin (AVC suppositories) twice a day for 7 days. Wet mounts and cultures were repated at 1 to 2 and 4 to 6 weeks after completion of treatment.
Results: The number of patients who had positive cultures after treatment were 40/45 (88.9%) in the clotrimazole group, 35/43 (81.4%) in the AVC suppository group, and 9/45 (20%) in the metronidazole group (P < 0.001). All treatments were associated with a reduction in reported symptoms. Oral metrohidazole was more effective in reducing symptoms than either of the topical preparations. Adverse events, mostly mild or moderate in severity, were reported by 7 (14.6%) of 48 patients who had received oral metronidazole and 4 (7.8%) of 51 women who used AVC suppositories. There were no adverse events reported by the 50 women who used clotrimazole vaginal tablets.
Conclusions: Oral metronidazole was more effective in eradicating T. vaginalis than clotrimazole vaginal tablets or AVC vaginal suppositories. All three regimens reduced symptoms; oral metronidazole was more effective in reducing symptoms than either topical preparation.