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Zidoval Vaginal Gel Summary
|Type of medicine||Antibiotic gel|
|Works by||Stops the growth of bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis in the vagina.|
|Effective within||2 - 3 days|
|Use with alcohol||Avoid alcohol while using Zidoval|
Zidoval (Metronidazole) BV Gel
Zidoval gel is an antibacterial medicine for bacterial vaginosis (BV) that kills the bacteria responsible for causing the infection. The gel, which contains metronidazole, is applied directly inside the vagina to kill the bacteria and treat the condition. This medicine is prescription only, and cannot be bought over the counter. Patients are advised to take the full course in order to clear the infection completely – otherwise it may recur.
What is bacterial vaginosis?
BV – also called gardnerella – is a very common bacterial infection and can be caused by anything that changes the balance of bacteria in the vagina, such as having sex or frequent douching (it is not classed as an STI). Rarely is BV a matter of poor hygiene – it can happen for seemingly no reason at all. Bacterial infection symptoms primarily include abnormal vaginal discharge, itching or an unusual smell.
With the correct BV treatment, the infection can be resolved in a matter of days. Recurrence is common, therefore completing the full course of bacterial vaginosis treatment is advised. 60% of women who have had BV will experience it again within 12 months.
BV most commonly affects women between the ages of 19-60. It’s often confused with thrush, which is similar, except thrush doesn’t usually smell and the discharge is likely to be thick and white, instead of thin and watery. Left untreated, BV can increase your risk of getting STIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, or going into early labour (if you’re pregnant).
The most commonly prescribed BV treatments are a week-long course of oral antibiotics or a course of antibiotic gel or cream – such as Zidoval gel – applied inside the vagina. At present, there are no over the counter medicines or home remedies for BV that are clinically proven to be effective.
How does Zidoval BV gel work?
Zidoval contains the active ingredient metronidazole – which is an antibiotic medicine used to treat a range of infections – not just BV. Metronidazole kills bacteria by interfering with its DNA. It’s used to kill a particular strain of bacteria known as ‘anaerobic bacteria’, which doesn’t need oxygen to multiply. It is this type of bacteria that’s responsible for causing BV. Metronidazole topical gel should be used for five consecutive days in order to cure your infection.
Metronidazole is only ever available via prescription and should not be taken or used with alcohol, as potentially serious interactions can occur. As well as killing bacteria, it can also treat parasitic infections. However, it doesn’t work for viral infections.
For best results, it’s a good idea to use metronidazole BV gel (Zidoval) at the same time every day. Stopping too early, before your BV treatment is finished, can lead to the infection coming back.
Metronidazole and alcohol
Drinking alcohol while taking or using metronidazole gel can make you feel dizzy or sick. However, this is less likely to happen when using Zidoval vaginal gel compared to metronidazole tablets. It is still best to avoid alcohol whilst you are using the gel and for 24 hours after you finish your course.
You can read more about Metronidazole and alcohol here.
Using Zidoval gel while menstruating
Metronidazole BV gel should be used for the complete length of time prescribed by your doctor, even if you’re on your period. It’s best to avoid using tampons while you have an infection and stick to unscented sanitary pads instead.
Zidoval gel alternatives
Aside from using Zidoval gel, alternative prescription medication for bacterial vaginosis includes:
- Metronidazole tablets – an oral antibiotic
- Dalacin 2% vaginal cream - a topical antibiotic that can be used by people who are sensitive to metronidazole.
- Balance Activ vaginal gel – a gel that restores natural pH balance
What’s the difference between Zidoval gel, Metrogel, & Rozex?
It is also used as a topical treatment to treat the red skin and pimples associated with rosacea. As well as in Zidoval, metronidazole can be found in Metrogel & Rozex. Zidoval, Metrogel, & Rozex are very similar: are all antibiotic gels containingmetronidazole.Metrogel &Rozex are for external use on the skin and are usually prescribed forrosacea, whereasZidoval is an internal treatment aimed primarily at treating BV. They should not be used for different indications. Find out more about Rozex in our guide: What is Rozex?.
Zidoval Gel Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.9525.pdf
How to use metronidazole vaginal gel
Zidoval gel is for vaginal use only and should be used as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. They will choose the correct dose for you – this will be displayed on the label.
Maintaining good hygiene while using Zidoval BV gel is important to help the infection clear up quickly. Before application, wash your hands and be sure to use a fresh applicator each time (disposable applicators are provided).
Zidoval dosage for BV
A single adult dose is 5g inserted into the vagina once daily for 5 days – usually at bedtime.
Zidoval vaginal gel isn’t recommended for children under 18 years or women over the age of 65.
- Fill the applicator by screwing the open end on to the end of the tube. Squeeze the tube from the bottom to fill the applicator. The plunger will move as the applicator fills and will stop when it reaches the required 5g dose. Then, remove the applicator from the tube and replace the cap.
- Hold the filled applicator by the barrel and gently insert it into the vagina as far as it will comfortably go. You may find this is easier while lying your back with your knees bent.
- Release the gel by slowly push the plunger down – continue pressing down until the plunger stops to release the correct amount of gel. Then remove the applicator and dispose of it – you should use a fresh applicator each time.
Following the full 5-day course of Zidoval gel, if your bacterial vaginosis symptoms persist, check in with your doctor or pharmacist. It’s important not to use more Zidoval gel than you’ve been prescribed – higher doses lead to a greater risk of side effects. Should you forget to use Zidoval, continue as normal the next day – do not double dose.
Zidoval gel ingredients
Every gram of Zidoval gel contains 7.5mg of the active substance metronidazole. Zidoval gel also contains:
- Carbopol 974P
- Disodium edetate
- Methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218)
- Propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216)
- Propylene glycol (E1520)
- Sodium hydroxide (E524)
- Purified water
Zidoval gel side effects
All medicines run the risk of causing side effects, but they won’t necessarily affect everybody in the same way. Some of the most common side effects associated with Zidoval vaginal gel include:
- Stomach cramps
- Vaginal thrush
- Vaginal discharge
- Pelvic discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Unusual feeling on your tongue
These side effects may affect around 1 in 10 people. Less common side effects, which may affect around 1 in 100 people, include:
- Feeling irritable
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Muscle cramps
- Period changes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling bloated
- Darkened urine
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Swelling of your vulva
Zidoval gel warnings and interactions
Zidoval gel will not be suitable for you if you are allergic to:
- Nitroimidazole antibacterials
- Metronidazole or any of the other ingredients
You should also speak to a medical professional before using Zidoval gel if:
- You are having your period
- You are having blood tests
- You have ever had any blood problems
- You think you may have vaginal thrush (candidiasis)
With any vaginal infection, it’s best to avoid sexual intercourse until the infection clears up – and while using Zidoval gel.
If you’re taking (or have recently taken) any of the following medicines, Zidoval gel may intensify or alter their effect. You should consult a pharmacist before use:
- Medicine for the treatment of cancer
It is best to avoid drinking alcohol while using Zidoval gel, as the combination can lead to nausea, confusion, headaches, or heart palpitations. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice before using metronidazole gel.
Zidoval gel contains methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218) and propyl parahydroxybenzoate, as well as propylene glycol (E1520), which can sometimes cause skin irritation.
Zidoval Vaginal Gel reviews
Zidoval Vaginal Gel FAQs
Zidoval should be used with caution if you are pregnant – its safety during pregnancy has not yet been established. While it’s thought to be relatively low risk, it should only be used if advised by a your GP or midwife. We are unable to provide BV treatment online to women who are pregnant.
Zidoval vaginal gel contains metronidazole – an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. It is an internal gel licensed for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
Yes – Zidoval has been shown to be an effective treatment for BV and vaginal bacterial infections. In clinical studies, there are no significant differences in cure rates between metronidazole tablets and Zidoval gel1. It works by destroying the bacteria that cause the infection to restore your natural pH balance.
Most courses of metronidazole topical gel are prescribed for 5 days, after which time your infection should have cleared up. If it doesn’t, consult your GP to discuss the next steps.
Metronidazole can react badly with alcohol, certainly when taken orally. When used in gel form, the effect of the interaction is likely to be less extreme compared to the tablets, but there can still be side effects, so it’s worth avoiding alcohol while using this treatment and for 24 hours after finishing.
It’s recommended to use metronidazole gel at bedtime, giving it time to work while you’re lying down and movement is minimal. This also helps to keep the timing consistent.
No – you should not use tampons while using Zidoval gel. If you are on your period and your doctor has recommended metronidazole topical gel, choose an external sanitary product, such as pads or absorbent underwear.
BV is not contagious – it’s an infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. However, having BV does increase a woman’s susceptibility to STIs.
Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina. In fact, half of women who have bacterial vaginosis do not notice any symptoms. Your risk of getting BV is higher if you have multiple sexual partners or douche regularly, since douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina. Lower your risk by using mild, non-deodorant soaps, unscented sanitary products, and practising safe sex.
Around 10-30% of pregnant women will experience BV during their pregnancy. There is some evidence to suggest that bacterial vaginosis is associated with preterm labor, as well as miscarriages and low birth weight. Therefore, treatment is highly recommended. Consult your GP or midwife to determine whether treatment for BV will be suitable for you.