Tinidazole in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis
Nicola R Armstrong1, Janet D Wilson2
1Department of Infectious Diseases and Sexual Health, Trinity Centre, Bradford, UK; 2The Centre for Sexual Health, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Leeds, UK
Abstract: Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the commonest cause of vaginal discharge in women of childbearing age. Oral metronidazole has long been established as an effective therapy in the treatment of BV. However, adverse effects due to metronidazole are frequent and this may lead to problems with adherence to a 7-day course of treatment and subsequently result in treatment failure. Oral tinidazole has been used to treat bacterial vaginosis for over 25 years but in a number of different dosage regimens. Placebo controlled trials have consistently shown increases in cure rate with tinidazole. Longer courses of treatment (eg, 1 g daily for 5 days) appear to be more effective than a 2 g oral single dose. Comparative studies suggest that oral tinidazole is equivalent to oral metronidazole, intravaginal clindamycin cream, and intravaginal metronidazole tablets, in efficacy in treating BV. However, tinidazole has a more favorable side effect profile than oral metronidazole notably with better gastrointestinal tolerability and less metallic taste. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with high rates of recurrence and appropriate management of such recurrences can prove difficult. Recurrent BV has been linked with persistence of Gardnerella vaginalis after treatment; however the clinical implications of the possible greater activity of tinidazole against G. vaginalis are not yet clear. Repeated courses of oral metronidazole may be poorly tolerated and an alternative but equally effective treatment that is better tolerated may be preferable. In comparison to oral metronidazole, cost is clearly an issue as oral metronidazole is considerably cheaper and available in generic form. However where avoidance of oral metronidazole is necessary because of side effects, oral tinidazole is a cost-effective alternative.
Keywords: bacterial vaginosis, tinidazole, metronidazole, Gardnerella vaginalis
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