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MetroGel (metronidazole) is a topical antibiotic, usually used to treat rosacea. It reduces the redness, inflammation, bumps and other blemishes associated with the condition. It may also work on other inflammatory skin conditions, but is generally not advised for treating acne. The medication is believed to work by combating inflammation while destroying potentially-harmful bacteria.

MetroGel is also used vaginally to treat bacterial infections, but most patients use a different formula, MetroGel Vaginal. This product comes with an applicator, and in a larger volume than the rosacea version.

A prescription is required to buy MetroGel in either form.

Just Weeks Away from Clear Skin

MetroGel is applied to the face once or twice per day, avoiding mucous membranes like the eyes and mouth. If using twice per day, one application should be in the morning and the other in the evening. If applying once per day, application should be done in the evening.

Treatment guidelines are as follows:

  • Wash the face, allowing 15 minutes for it to dry thoroughly.
  • Apply a thin layer of the gel to affected areas and gently rub it in.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes before applying makeup, moisturizers, or other skin care products.
  • Wash hands to prevent accidental contamination of the eyes or other areas.

It may take up to 3 or 4 weeks before noticing significant improvements, though some patients notice improvements just a few days after first use. It may take up to two months to see full benefit.

Duration of treatment can be variable. At a minimum, use should continue until the condition is completely cleared up. Some patients use it daily for years, others for just a few months. If treatment has stopped, it can always be resumed again when or if symptoms return. Application of MetroGel prior to exposure to triggers---such as excessive sun exposure---may help prevent symptoms from appearing in the first place.

If there is no improvement seen after 4 weeks of treatment, other treatments should be considered. It's possible that the condition is not rosacea, but it's also possible that it simply isn't responding to treatment. Rosacea is notoriously difficult to treat.

Inactive ingredients in MetroGel are also designed to improve skin; moisturizing and soothing angry, inflamed areas, while promoting absorption of metronidazole, its active ingredient.

Most patients find MetroGel works well, clearing up rosacea and keeping skin healthy and youthful looking---a look that will persist for some time even after use of MetroGel stops.

Side Effects & Interactions

Side effects from MetroGel use are unusual, with less than 2 percent of patients experiencing one or more symptoms. From both trials and real-world use, possible side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tingling or numbness of extremities

The above are not cause for concern unless persistant or severe, with the exception of the last one; patients who experience numbness or tingling of the extremities should stop using MetroGel until speaking with a doctor.

MetroGel is unlikely to interact with other medications, with the exception of blood thinners and the possible exception of other topical medications applied to the same area. Speak with doctor if prescribed multiple topical treatments for rosacea.

MetroGel is not thought to be harmful to unborn or nursing babies; it is safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding.


0.75%-40G metronidazole  Buy Metrogel 1 Ea - $86.50
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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