Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment


Metronidazole (or Flagyl) is an antibiotic medicine adept at tackling a number of infections, including bacterial vaginosis (BV).

PLEASE NOTE: As Metronidazole is a generic medicine, the brand of the product you receive may be different to the one shown in the picture.

Patients who have received a positive test result for BV can buy Flagyl online using our service. Take our questionnaire, and your prescription request will be reviewed by our doctor.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.
Product information

Flagyl (and the generic, Metronidazole) is an antibiotic used in various bacterial infections, including bacterial vaginosis (BV). As an antibiotic, it works by obstructing the growth of bacteria in the body, and helping the immune system to combat the infection.

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the balance of bacteria inside the vagina becomes upset. This can lead to one type of bacteria, which might usually be kept under control by other ‘friendly’ bacteria, becoming too prominent, and causing infection. The condition is characterised by a strong-smelling discharge, which may be an off-white colour.

Although those who have sex a lot may be at increased risk, bacterial vaginosis isn’t strictly an STI, as it can be caused by various factors outside of sexual intercourse. These include douching with certain types of shampoo, or the insertion of unsterilised intrauterine devices, such as contraceptive diaphragms, into the vagina.

BV doesn’t always require treatment if it isn’t causing symptoms. But where it is required, antibiotics such as Flagyl may be issued by doctors for infections of this type. The active agent in the drug, metronidazole, functions by disrupting the generation of self-sustaining chemicals which the bacterial cells need to stabilise themselves and reproduce. Once they are no longer able to increase their number, they become an easy target for antibodies which see the infection off.

Metronidazole is a generic version of Flagyl. It contains the same ingredient and works in the same way, but is cheaper because it is not a branded treatment.

If you suspect you might have bacterial vaginosis, you should get tested. You can do this in person at your local GUM (sexual health) clinic, or ask your GP for guidance. You can also order a home testing kit online through our site.

To buy BV treatment online from our site, take our questionnaire. Your case will be checked by our doctor, and you will be asked to upload a copy of your test result. After your treatment has been approved, our UK pharmacy will dispense your medication and send it to you by next-day shipping.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2018


Always follow the directions issued by your prescriber when using Metronidazole or Flagyl, and adhere to the safety instructions provided in the patient information leaflet.

  1. Take the tablets as directed by your doctor.
  2. For bacterial vaginosis, the typical dose is one 400mg tablet taken twice daily.
  3. Space the doses out as evenly as possible (for example, take one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening with a meal).
  4. Complete the course as prescribed.
  5. Take the tablets with water and swallow them whole.
  6. Take the tablets with or after food.
  7. Never exceed the prescribed amount.
  8. Do not drink alcohol whilst taking this medication.

If you miss a dose, don’t double up on your next one. Simply continue the course as normal.

The directions supplied here are only intended as a guide. You should always follow the specific instructions your doctor or pharmacist provides you with.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2018
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment 400mg

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment 400mg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

Only a minority of people using this medicine will experience side effects, although a metallic taste in the mouth is fairly common.

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects this medication might cause, so that you can seek medical attention in the event that they occur.

Frequency unknown:

Loss of coordination, diarrhoea, allergic reaction, nausea and vomiting, confusion, liver problems, ulcers, bruising, bleeding gums, drowsiness, stomach pain, fits, hallucinations, sight problems, skin rash, headache, change in urinary consistency, numbness, tingling, pain, or muscular weakness.

If you experience these or any other side effects, speak to your doctor or nearest healthcare professional right away.

Taking it with other medicines

Certain medications may limit the effectiveness of this treatment, or make it more likely to cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you taking any other treatments during consultation.

This product may interact with: treatments for epilepsy including phenytoin, primidone or phenobarbitone; anticoagulants; 5 fluorouracil, busulfan; ciclosporin; and lithium.

Conditions to look out for

Some conditions may inhibit your ability to use this medication. Let your prescriber know if you have ever suffered from liver problems, kidney dialysis, diseases of the nervous system or any other conditions.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

This medicine is not to be used during pregnancy unless considered absolutely essential by your doctor. It is also not recommended during breastfeeding. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby, talk to your doctor before taking this medication.

Driving and using machinery

Do not drive or try to operate machinery if you become dizzy or experience any side effects which could hinder your concentration while using this medication.

Food, drink and alcohol

You must not drink alcohol while you are taking Metronidazole or Flagyl, or within 48 hours after completing the course. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects.


A course of treatment for BV or TV should only last for up to one week.

If you take Flagyl for more than 10 days, you may need to have tests with your doctor.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2018
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment 400mg

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) treatment 400mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

No. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects when using Metronidazole or Flagyl. You must not consume alcohol while using this treatment and for at least 48 hours after completing the course.

Will I still be able to drive?

Your capacity to drive should not be affected. However, if you notice any side effects which could make driving unsafe or difficult, you should not drive and speak to your doctor immediately.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

You should only take this treatment while pregnant or breastfeeding if your doctor thinks it is absolutely necessary.

How should I store it?

Always store your medicines below 30°C unless otherwise specified, and out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Flagyl contains metronidazole, calcium hydrogen phosphate (E341), starch maize, povidone K30 (E1201) and magnesium stearate, pharmacoat 615 (E464), and macrogol 400.

Metronidazole tablets contain metronidazole, povidone, magnesium stearate, colloidal anhydrous silica and maize starch.

Do not use the treatments if you are allergic to any of the above.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. You cannot buy Flagyl in the UK without a prescription from a healthcare professional.

How can I buy bacterial vaginosis treatment online?

If you have tested positive for BV, you can buy Flagyl through our secure consultation facility. Take our questionnaire, and one of our doctors will review your request. Following approval, medicines are sent by tracked 24-hour parcel.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2018
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