How Effective Is Metronidazole for Urinary Tract Infection?

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  • Written By: Kathleen Howard
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2018
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Metronidazole is a prescription antibiotic used to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and certain parasites. While metronidazole was not designed to fight urinary tract infections, it is sometimes prescribed to treat cases of reoccurring and persistent nongonococcal urethritis. When used as directed, metronidazole can eliminate urethritis-causing bacteria within seven days. Before using metronidazole for urinary tract infection, patients should discuss dosage and possible side effects with their physician.

There are several common uses of metronidazole. This medication is commonly used to treat vaginal, skin, stomach, heart, blood, joint and bone infections. Physicians usually only prescribe metronidazole for urinary tract infection when patients are suffering from a particularly resistant case of nongonococcal urethritis.

Urethritis is a urinary tract infection that only affects the urethra. In uncomplicated cases of urethritis, certain antibiotics are usually used to fight the infection. If these medications are ineffective or if the infection keeps returning, a physician may decide to use metronidazole for urinary tract infection. Metronidazole is not used to treat urinary tract infections that have traveled to the kidneys or bladder.

Infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatis or diplococci bacteria will not respond to metronidazole. The medicine is also ineffective when treating gonococcal urethritis. If a patient believes that he or she might be suffering from a gonorrheal infection, this issue will need to be eliminated before treating the urethritis.


Metronidazole is most effective when combined with either erythromycin or erythromycin ethylsuccinate. These medications should be used for seven days to treat reoccurring urethritis. After completing seven days of treatment, the patient’s symptoms should be eliminated. It is important that patients follow all metronidazole dosage instructions as given by their physician. Missing doses or failing to finish the prescription will negatively impact the effectiveness of the medication.

Before taking metronidazole, patients should let their physician know about any medications or herbal supplements they are taking. Certain medications, such as cimetidine and phenytoin, may impact the effectiveness and safety of metronidazole. Pregnant women and those who are nursing should also avoid this medication.

Patients should also be aware of certain metronidazole side effects. Metronidazole may cause stomach pain, cold-like symptoms, dizziness, dry mouth, vaginal itching and swelling of the tongue. More serious side effects include fever, hives, seizures, painful urination, mood swings, vision problems, and swelling of the face, throat, or tongue. If a patient experiences these side effects, he or she should seek immediate medical attention. When used as directed, metronidazole is usually very effective in treating persistent, nongonococcal urinary tract infections.


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Post 4

The metronidazole was a life saver for me as well. The only thing was I had about every side effect mentioned, but I thought they were worth putting up with for a few days if it got rid of my urinary tract infection.

If someone has never had an infection like this, you have no idea how miserable this can make you feel. They can also be life threatening if you let them get out of hand.

After a couple years of frequent infections, I started taking a cranberry supplement every day. I don't care for the taste of cranberry juice, but taking the supplements is an easy way to help prevent these infections.

Since I have been doing this I have only had one urinary tract infection compared to the 6 I had in the year before.

Post 3

@sunshined-- Before you started taking the metronidazole were you taking the antibiotics for the full 7 days?

A couple times in the past when I had a urinary tract infection I quit taking my medication after about 4 days because I felt so much better. I found out this wasn't a very smart thing to do.

The infection came back and I felt worse than ever. Now when I am given a medication for a urinary tract infection, I make sure and take all the medication given me.

I still have troubles with frequent infections, and was so relived when I found out about the metronidazole. I had been through several different antibiotics and was beginning to think none of them would work.

Post 2

A urinary tract infection is miserable no matter what. I found myself getting really frustrated when I started getting one every 4-6 weeks.

After a while I must have developed some resistance to what they were giving me because it didn't seem like it was working anymore. I would feel better for a few days, but the infection kept coming back.

My doctor finally started me on metronidazole. I noticed a few side effects like dizziness and dry mouth, but these were better than the symptoms of the infection.

After 7 full days of this, the infection stayed away and I haven't had one since. I sure hope I don't get another one, but if I do, I hope he will start me on metronidazole right away so I don't have to mess around with something that may not be effective.

Post 1

I am not one to run to the doctor every time I have a cough or a sniffle, but when I get a urinary tract infection, I don't put it off.

Once I let an infection go too long before being seen, and this went into my kidneys and I was really miserable. Because the infection had spread, I was not able to take metronidazole, but the antibiotic they gave me took care of my symptoms and cleared up the infection.

Metronidazole is one of the medications my doctor has mentioned in the past, but thankfully, I haven't had frequent, recurring infections that I have needed something that strong.

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