INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets are indicated in the treatment of BV in non-pregnant women.
To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the effectiveness of FLAGYL ER and other antibacterial drugs, FLAGYL ER should be used only to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria. When culture and susceptibility information are available, they should be considered in selecting or modifying antibacterial therapy. In the absence of such data, local epidemiology and susceptibility patterns may contribute to the empiric selection of therapy.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
750 mg once daily by mouth for seven consecutive days.
FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets should be taken under fasting conditions, at least one hour before or two hours after meals. The optimum extended-release characteristics of FLAGYL ER 750 mg are obtained when the drug is taken under fasting conditions (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Absorption).
FLAGYL ER tablets should not be split, chewed, or crushed.
Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis
Hemodialysis removes significant amounts of metronidazole and its metabolites from systemic circulation. The clearance of metronidazole will depend on the type of dialysis membrane used, the duration of the dialysis session, and other factors. If the administration of metronidazole cannot be separated from a hemodialysis session, supplementation of metronidazole dosage following the hemodialysis session should be considered, depending on the patient's clinical situation (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets are contraindicated in patients with a prior history of hypersensitivity to metronidazole or other nitroimidazole derivatives.
Psychotic Reaction with Disulfiram
Use of oral metronidazole is associated with psychotic reactions in alcoholic patients who were using disulfiram concurrently. Do not administer metronidazole to patients who have taken disulfiram within the last two weeks (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).
Interaction with Alcohol
Use of oral metronidazole is associated with a disulfiram-like reaction to alcohol, including abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing. Discontinue consumption of alcohol or products containing propylene glycol during and for at least three days after therapy with metronidazole (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).
Central and Peripheral Nervous System Effects
Encephalopathy and peripheral neuropathy
Cases of encephalopathy and peripheral neuropathy (including optic neuropathy) have been reported with metronidazole.
Encephalopathy has been reported in association with cerebellar toxicity characterized by ataxia, dizziness, and dysarthria. CNS lesions seen on MRI have been described in reports of encephalopathy. CNS symptoms are generally reversible within days to weeks upon discontinuation of metronidazole. CNS lesions seen on MRI have also been described as reversible.
Peripheral neuropathy, mainly of sensory type has been reported and is characterized by numbness or paresthesia of an extremity.
Convulsive seizures have been reported in patients treated with metronidazole.
Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported with metronidazole. Symptoms can occur within hours of dose administration and generally resolve after metronidazole therapy is discontinued.
The appearance of abnormal neurologic signs and symptoms demands the prompt evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of the continuation of therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Patients with hepatic impairment metabolize metronidazole slowly, with resultant accumulation of metronidazole in the plasma. FLAGYL ER tablets should not be administered to patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment unless it is deemed that the benefits outweigh the risks in these patients. For patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment, no dosage adjustment is needed. Patients with hepatic impairment who receive the usual recommended dose of FLAGYL ER tablets should be monitored for metronidazole associated adverse events (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Patients with end-stage renal disease may excrete metronidazole and metabolites slowly in the urine, resulting in significant accumulation of metronidazole metabolites. Monitoring for metronidazole associated adverse events is recommended (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Known or previously unrecognized candidiasis may present more prominent symptoms during therapy with metronidazole and requires treatment with a candidacidal agent.
Use in Patients with Blood Dyscrasias
Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole and should be used with caution in patients with evidence of or history of blood dyscrasia. A mild leucopenia has been observed during its administration; however, no persistent hematologic abnormalities attributable to metronidazole have been observed in clinical studies. Total and differential leukocyte counts are recommended before and after therapy.
Information for Patients
Interaction with Alcohol
Discontinue consumption of alcoholic beverages or products containing propylene glycol while taking metronidazole and for at least three days afterward because abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing may occur (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).
Treatment of Bacterial Infections
Patients should be counseled that FLAGYL ER should only be used to treat bacterial infections. FLAGYL ER does not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When FLAGYL ER is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by FLAGYL ER in the future.
Psychotic reactions have been reported in alcoholic patients who are using metronidazole and disulfiram concurrently. Metronidazole should not be given to patients who have taken disulfiram within the last 2 weeks (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing may occur if alcoholic beverages or products containing propylene glycol are consumed during or following metronidazole therapy (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Warfarin and other Oral Anticoagulants
Metronidazole has been reported to potentiate the anticoagulant effect of warfarin and other oral coumarin anticoagulants, resulting in a prolongation of prothrombin time. When FLAGYL 375 capsules is prescribed for patients on this type of anticoagulant therapy, prothrombin time and INR should be carefully monitored.
In patients stabilized on relatively high doses of lithium, short-term metronidazole therapy has been associated with elevation of serum lithium and, in a few cases, signs of lithium toxicity. Serum lithium and serum creatinine levels should be obtained several days after beginning metronidazole to detect any increase that may precede clinical symptoms of lithium intoxication.
Metronidazole has been reported to increase plasma concentrations of busulfan, which can result in an increased risk for serious busulfan toxicity. Metronidazole should not be administered concomitantly with busulfan unless the benefit outweighs the risk. If no therapeutic alternatives to metronidazole are available, and concomitant administration with busulfan is medically needed, frequent monitoring of busulfan plasma concentration should be performed and the busulfan dose should be adjusted accordingly.
Drugs that Inhibit CYP450 Enzymes
The simultaneous administration of drugs that decrease microsomal liver enzyme activity, such as cimetidine, may prolong the half-life and decrease plasma clearance of metronidazole.
Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
Metronidazole may interfere with certain types of determinations of serum chemistry values, such as aspartate aminotransferase (AST, SGOT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT, SGPT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), triglycerides, and glucose hexokinase. Values of zero may be observed. All of the assays in which interference has been reported involve enzymatic coupling of the assay to oxidation-reduction of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+NADH). Interference is due to the similarity in absorbance peaks of NADH (340 nm) and metronidazole (322 nm) at pH 7.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Tumors affecting the liver, lung, mammary, and lymphatic tissues have been detected in several studies of metronidazole in rats and mice, but not hamsters.
Pulmonary tumors have been observed in all six reported studies in the mouse, including one study in which the animals were dosed on an intermittent schedule (administration during every fourth week only). Malignant liver tumors were increased in male mice treated at approximately 1500 mg/m2 (about 3 times the recommended daily dose, based on body surface area comparisons). Malignant lymphomas and pulmonary neoplasms are also increased with lifetime feeding of the drug to mice. Mammary and hepatic tumors were increased among female rats administered oral metronidazole compared to concurrent controls. Two lifetime tumorigenicity studies in hamsters have been performed and reported to be negative.
Metronidazole has shown mutagenic activity in in vitro assay systems including the Ames test. Studies in mammals in vivo have failed to demonstrate a potential for genetic damage.
Metronidazole failed to produce any adverse effects on fertility or testicular function in male rats at doses up to 400 mg/kg/day (approximately 5 times the recommended dose based on body surface area comparisons) for 28 days. However, rats treated at the same dose for 6 weeks, or longer were infertile and showed severe degeneration of the seminiferous epithelium in the testes as well as marked decreases in testicular spermatid counts and epididymal sperm counts. Fertility was restored in most rats after an eight week, drug-free recovery period.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of FLAGYL ER in pregnant women. There are published data from case-control studies, cohort studies, and 2-meta-analyses that include more than 5000 pregnant women who used metronidazole during pregnancy. Many studies included first trimester exposures. One study showed an increased risk of cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, in infants exposed to metronidazole in-utero; however, these finding were not confirmed. In addition, more than ten randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials enrolled more than 5000 pregnant women to assess the use of antibiotic treatment (including metronidazole) for bacterial vaginosis on the incidence of preterm delivery. Most studies did not show an increased risk for congenital anomalies or other adverse fetal outcomes following metronidazole exposure during pregnancy. Three studies conducted to assess the risk of infant cancer following metronidazole exposure during pregnancy did not show an increased risk; however, the ability of these studies to detect such a signal was limited.
Metronidazole crosses the placental barrier and its effects on the human fetal organogenesis are not known. Reproduction studies have been performed in rats, rabbits, and mice at doses about four times the recommended human dose based on body surface area comparisons. There was no evidence of harm to the fetus due to metronidazole.
Metronidazole is present in human milk at concentrations similar to maternal serum levels, and infant serum levels can be close to or comparable to infant therapeutic levels. Because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for metronidazole in mouse and rat studies, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Alternatively, a nursing mother may choose to pump and discard human milk for the duration of metronidazole therapy, and for 24 hours after therapy ends and feed her infant stored human milk or formula.
In geriatric patients, monitoring for metronidazole associated adverse events is recommended (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, PRECAUTIONS). Decreased liver function in geriatric patients can result in increased concentrations of metronidazole that may necessitate adjustment of metronidazole dosage (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
The safety and efficacy of FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis in post-menarchal females has been established on the extrapolation of clinical trial data from adult women. The safety and efficacy of FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets in pre-menarchal females have not been established.
In two multicenter clinical trials, a total of 270 patients received 750 mg FLAGYL ER tablets orally once daily for 7 days, and 287 were treated with a comparator agent administered intravaginally once daily for 7 days (See CLINICAL STUDIES).3,4
Most adverse events were described as being of mild or moderate severity. Among patients taking FLAGYL ER who reported headaches, 10% considered them severe, and less than 2% of reported episodes of nausea were considered severe. Metallic taste was reported by 9% of patients taking FLAGYL ER.
Adverse events reported at ≥2% incidence for either treatment group, irrespective of treatment causality, are summarized in the table below.
|FLAGYL ER 7 days
|Headache||48 (18%)||44 (15%)|
|Vaginitis||39 (15%)||32 (12%)|
|Nausea||28 (10%)||8 (3%)|
|Taste Perversion (metallic taste)||23 (9%)||1 (0%)|
|Infection Bacterial||19 (7%)||17 (6%)|
|Influenza-like Symptoms||17 (6%)||20 (7%)|
|Pruritus Genital||14 (5%)||25 (9%)|
|Abdominal Pain||10 (4%)||13 (5%)|
|Dizziness||11 (4%)||3 (1%)|
|Diarrhea||11 (4%)||3 (1%)|
|Upper Respiratory Tract Infection||11 (4%)||10 (4%)|
|Rhinitis||12 (4%)||10 (4%)|
|Sinusitis||7 (3%)||6 (2%)|
|Urine Abnormal||7 (3%)||4 (1%)|
|Pharyngitis||8 (3%)||4 (1%)|
|Dysmenorrhea||9 (3%)||7 (2%)|
|Moniliasis||9 (3%)||8 (3%)|
|Mouth Dry||5 (2%)||2 (1%)|
|Urinary Tract Infection||6 (2%)||16 (6%)|
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a recognized consequence of treatment with many anti-infective agents. In these multicenter clinical trials, there were no statistically significant differences in the incidence rates of yeast vaginitis for groups of patients treated with FLAGYL ER or the vaginal comparator.
The following reactions have been reported during treatment with metronidazole:
Central Nervous System: The most serious adverse reactions reported in patients treated with metronidazole have been convulsive seizures, encephalopathy, aseptic meningitis, optic and peripheral neuropathy, the latter characterized mainly by numbness or paresthesia of an extremity. Since persistent peripheral neuropathy has been reported in some patients receiving prolonged administration of metronidazole, patients should be specifically warned about these reactions and should be told to stop the drug and report immediately to their physicians if any neurologic symptoms occur. In addition, patients have reported headache, syncope, dizziness, vertigo, incoordination, ataxia, confusion, dysarthria, irritability, depression, weakness, and insomnia (See WARNINGS).
Gastrointestinal: The most common adverse reactions reported have been referable to the gastrointestinal tract, particularly nausea, sometimes accompanied by headache, anorexia, and occasionally vomiting, diarrhea, epigastric distress; abdominal cramping; and constipation.
Mouth: A sharp, unpleasant metallic taste is not unusual. Furry tongue, glossitis, and stomatitis have occurred; these may be associated with a sudden overgrowth of Candida which may occur during therapy.
Dermatologic: Erythematous rash and pruritus.
Hematopoietic: Reversible neutropenia (leukopenia); rarely, reversible thrombocytopenia.
Cardiovascular: Flattening of the T-wave may be seen in electrocardiographic tracings.
Hypersensitivity: Urticaria, erythematous rash, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, flushing, nasal congestion, dryness of the mouth (or vagina or vulva), and fever.
Renal: Dysuria, cystitis, polyuria, incontinence, and a sense of pelvic pressure. Instances of darkened urine have been reported by approximately one patient in 100,000. Although the pigment which is probably responsible for this phenomenon has not been positively identified, it is almost certainly a metabolite of metronidazole and seems to have no clinical significance.
Other: Proliferation of Candida in the vagina, dyspareunia, decrease of libido, proctitis, and fleeting joint pains sometimes resembling "serum sickness." Rare cases of pancreatitis, which generally abated on withdrawal of the drug, have been reported.
Patients with Crohn's disease are known to have an increased incidence of gastrointestinal and certain extraintestinal cancers. There have been some reports in the medical literature of breast and colon cancer in Crohn's disease patients who have been treated with metronidazole at high doses for extended periods of time. A cause and effect relationship has not been established. Crohn's disease is not an approved indication for FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets.
Single oral doses of metronidazole, up to 15 g, have been reported in suicide attempts and accidental overdoses. Symptoms reported include nausea, vomiting, and ataxia.
Oral metronidazole has been studied as a radiation sensitizer in the treatment of malignant tumors. Neurotoxic effects, including seizures and peripheral neuropathy, have been reported after 5 to 7 days of doses of 6 g to 10.4 g every other day.
FLAGYL metronidazole extended release tablets is an oral formulation of the synthetic nitroimidazole antimicrobial agent, 2-methyl-5-nitro-1H-imidazole-1-ethanol, which has the following structural formula:
FLAGYL (metronidazole) extended release tablets, 750 mg (indicated below as FLAGYL ER) contain 750 mg of metronidazole USP. Inactive ingredients include hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, poly (meth) acrylic acid ester copolymers, polysorbate 80, silicon dioxide, simethicone emulsion, talc, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake.
Disposition of metronidazole in the body is similar for both oral and intravenous dosage forms.
FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets contain 750 mg of metronidazole in an extended release formulation which allows for once-daily dosing. The steady state pharmacokinetics were determined in 24 healthy adult female subjects with a mean ± SD age of 28.8 ± 8.8 years (range: 19–46).2 The pharmacokinetic parameters of metronidazole after administration of FLAGYL ER 750 mg under fed and fasting conditions are summarized in the following table.
|FLAGYL ER 750 mg daily Mean±SD (N=24)|
Relative to the fasting state, the rate of metronidazole absorption from the extended release tablet is increased in the fed state resulting in alteration of the extended release characteristics.
Metronidazole is the major component appearing in the plasma, with lesser quantities of metabolites also being present. Less than 20% of the circulating metronidazole is bound to plasma proteins. Metronidazole appears in cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, and breast milk in concentrations similar to those found in plasma. Bactericidal concentrations of metronidazole have also been detected in pus from hepatic abscesses.
The major route of elimination of metronidazole and its metabolites is via the urine (60% to 80% of the dose), with fecal excretion accounting for 6% to 15% of the dose. The metabolites that appear in the urine result primarily from side-chain oxidation [1-(ß-hydroxyethyl)-2-hydroxymethyl-5-nitroimidazole and 2-methyl-5-nitroimidazole-1-yl-acetic acid] and glucuronide conjugation, with unchanged metronidazole accounting for approximately 20% of the total. Both the parent compound and the hydroxyl metabolite possess in vitro antimicrobial activity.
Renal clearance of metronidazole is approximately 10 mL/min/1.73 m2.1 The average elimination half-life of metronidazole in healthy subjects is eight hours.
Decreased renal function does not alter the single-dose pharmacokinetics of metronidazole.
Subjects with end-stage renal disease (ESRD; CLCR=8.1±9.1 mL/min) and who received a single intravenous infusion of metronidazole 500 mg had no significant change in metronidazole pharmacokinetics but had 2-fold higher Cmax of hydroxy-metronidazole and 5-fold higher Cmax of metronidazole acetate, compared to healthy subjects with normal renal function (CLCR=126±16 mL/min). Thus, on account of the potential accumulation of metronidazole metabolites in ESRD patients, monitoring for metronidazole associated adverse events is recommended (see PRECAUTIONS).
Effect of Dialysis
Following a single intravenous infusion or oral dose of metronidazole 500 mg, the clearance of metronidazole was investigated in ESRD subjects undergoing hemodialysis or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). A hemodialysis session lasting for 4 to 8 hours removed 40% to 65% of the administered metronidazole dose, depending on the type of dialyzer membrane used and the duration of the dialysis session. If the administration of metronidazole cannot be separated from the dialysis session, supplementation of metronidazole dose following hemodialysis should be considered (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). A peritoneal dialysis session lasting for 7.5 hours removed approximately 10% of the administered metronidazole dose. No adjustment in metronidazole dose is needed in ESRD patients undergoing CAPD.
Following a single intravenous infusion of 500 mg metronidazole, the mean AUC24 of metronidazole was higher by 114% in patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment, and by 54% and 53% in patients with mild (Child-Pugh A), and moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment, respectively, compared to healthy control subjects. There were no significant changes in the AUC24 of hydroxyl-metronidazole in these hepatically impaired patients. FLAGYL ER tablets should not be administered to patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment unless it is deemed that the benefits outweigh the risks in these patients. No dosage adjustment is needed for patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. Patients with hepatic impairment who receive the usual recommended dose of FLAGYL ER tablet should be monitored for metronidazole associated adverse events (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Following a single 500 mg oral or IV dose of metronidazole, subjects >70 years old with no apparent renal or hepatic dysfunction had a 40% to 80% higher mean AUC of hydroxy-metronidazole (active metabolite), with no apparent increase in the mean AUC of metronidazole (parent compound), compared to young healthy controls <40 years old. In geriatric patients, monitoring for metronidazole associated adverse events is recommended (see PRECAUTIONS).
In one study, newborn infants appeared to demonstrate diminished capacity to eliminate metronidazole. The elimination half-life, measured during the first 3 days of life, was inversely related to gestational age. In infants whose gestational ages were between 28 and 40 weeks, the corresponding elimination half-lives ranged from 109 to 22.5 hours.
Mechanism of Action
Metronidazole, a nitroimidazole, exerts antibacterial effects in an anaerobic environment against most obligate anaerobes. Once metronidazole enters the organism by passive diffusion and activated in the cytoplasm of susceptible anaerobic bacteria, it is reduced; this process includes intra-cellular electron transport proteins such as ferredoxin, transfer of an electron to the nitro group of the metronidazole, and formation of a short-lived nitroso free radical. Because of this alteration of the metronidazole molecule, a concentration gradient is created and maintained which promotes the drug's intracellular transport. The reduced form of metronidazole and free radicals can interact with DNA leading to inhibition of DNA synthesis and DNA degradation leading to death of bacteria. The precise mechanism of action of metronidazole is unclear.
A potential for development of resistance exists against metronidazole.
Resistance may be due to multiple mechanisms that include decreased uptake of the drug, altered reduction efficiency, overexpression of the efflux pumps, inactivation of the drug, and/or increased DNA damage repair.
Metronidazole does not possess any clinically relevant activity against facultative anaerobes or obligate aerobes.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a clinical syndrome that results from a replacement of the normal, Lactobacillus-dominant flora with several other organisms including Gardnerella vaginalis, Mobiluncus spp, Mycoplasma hominis and anaerobes (Peptostreptococcus spp and Bacteroides spp).
FLAGYL ER was studied in patients with BV in two randomized, multicenter, well-controlled, investigator blind clinical trials.3,4 A total of 557 otherwise healthy nonpregnant patients with BV were randomized to treatment with FLAGYL ER once a day for 7 days (n=270) or 2% clindamycin vaginal cream one applicator full (5 grams) once a day for 7 days (n=287).
The primary efficacy endpoint for each treatment regimen was defined as clinical cure assessed at 28–32 days post-therapy. Clinical cure was defined as a return to normal of the vaginal pH (≤4.5), absence of a "fishy" amine odor, and absence of clue cells.
The study results are presented in the table below:
|2% clindamycin cream
|Study 1||61% (77/126)||59% (80/135)|
|Study 2||62% (74/119)*||43% (50/117)|
At one month post-therapy the pH of the vagina returned to normal earlier and in a greater percentage of patients in the FLAGYL ER treatment group when compared to the 2% clindamycin vaginal cream group; 72% vs. 65%, respectively. Likewise, FLAGYL ER restored the normal Lactobacillus-predominant vaginal flora in a larger percentage of patients at one month post-therapy when compared to the 2% clindamycin treated group; 74% vs. 63%, respectively.
- Salas-Herrera IG, Pearson RM, Johnston A, and Turner P. Concentration of metronidazole in cervical mucus and serum after single and repeated oral doses. J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 1991; 28:283–289.
- Metronidazole modified-release tablet multiple-dose bioequivalency study (fed/fasting). G.D. Searle & Co., Protocol No. S13-94-02-014; Report No. S13-95-06-014, 11 July 1995.
- Integrated clinical and statistical report for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis with metronidazole modified release tablet— a dose duration study. G.D. Searle & Co., Protocol No. N13-95-02-015; Report No. N13-96-06-015, 19 Nov 1996.
- Integrated clinical and statistical report for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis with metronidazole modified release tablet. G.D. Searle & Co., Protocol No. N13-95-02-017; Report No. N13-96-06-017, 11 Nov 1996.
FLAGYL ER 750 mg tablets are oval, blue, film coated, with SEARLE and 1961 embossed on one side and FLAGYL and ER on the other side, supplied as:
|0025–1961–30||Bottle of 30|