Background: Trichomonas vaginalis is a common sexually transmitted pathogen. In the United States, oral metronidazole is the only officially sanctioned treatment option.
Objective: This study was undertaken to compare the efficacy and safety of 0.75% metronidazole vaginal gel with that of oral metronidazole for the treatment of trichomonal vaginitis.
Study design: Women with trichomoniasis were enrolled in this randomized, open-label pilot study of 0.75% metronidazole vaginal gel twice daily for 7 days compared with 7 days of generic oral metronidazole, 250 mg, three times daily. Patients were seen for follow-up visits 5 to 7 days and 21 to 28 days after the last dose of medication.
Results: Using culture for test of cure, trichomonal infection was eliminated in all 15 women treated with oral metronidazole and 7 (44%) of 16 women treated with intravaginal metronidazole. Adverse events were similar, except that there were more taste-related adverse events in the oral metronidazole group. Significant reductions in genitourinary symptoms were seen in both the oral and intravaginal groups.
Conclusion: This study has shown that 0.75% metronidazole vaginal gel is not effective as a single agent for the treatment of trichomoniasis. Future studies may define a role for metronidazole gel for symptomatic relief in patients intolerant of oral medication or as adjunctive treatment with oral metronidazole for the management of patients infected with metronidazole-resistant strains of T. vaginalis.