Metronidazole (On the skin)


Metronidazole (met-roe-NYE-da-zole)

Treats skin redness and pimples caused by a skin condition called rosacea (adult acne, or acne rosacea).

Brand Name(s)

Metrocream, Metrogel, Metrolotion, Noritate, Rosadan, Rosadan Cream Kit

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Gel/Jelly, Liquid Mixture, Lotion

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Use this medicine on your skin only. Do not eat it. Wash the area to be treated with a mild soap. Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • You should not use the medicine in or near your eyes. If you do get the medicine in your eyes, rinse them well with cool water. Tell your doctor if redness or eye pain does not go away.
  • You can use cosmetics or make-up while using this medicine, however they should only be put on after you have used the metronidazole lotion, cream, or gel. Wait about 5 minutes for the medicine to dry before putting on cosmetics or make-up. If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
  • Talk with your doctor before using other medicated creams or ointments on the same areas that you are using metronidazole.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have a blood disorder.
  • Do not use this medicine in or near your eyes.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry, itchy, red, or irritated skin.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Mild stinging or burning where the medicine is put on your skin.
  • Nausea.
  • Tingling or numbness in your feet or hands.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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