Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial infections, and it comes in a few different forms. The most commonly prescribed forms are tablets and a gel application. Both of these are used to treat a variety of infections, offering much the same benefit and outcomes in most patients.
However, since their cost tends to be quite different, with the gel costing about ten times as much as the oral tablet, it is worth comparing the two to see which one would be more effective.
A study was conducted to see which one worked better and to compare cost-effectiveness between the two forms of the drug. The study included 60 women aged between 18-30 years who had no other medical problems beyond a vaginal infection. They also did not take any other medications during the course of the study, nor did they engage in sexual activity. Those that took the oral tablet were found to have as little of the infection remaining at the end of testing as the ones who took the much more expensive vaginal gel.
Their side effects tended to be almost non-existent. Only a few of the participants experienced any symptoms, which was only some vomiting. Of the 30 who took the oral tablet, 27 experienced success with clearing up the vaginal infection. Of the 30 who used the gel application, 28 experienced success. As you can see, the difference in results was negligible with a similar success rate and very few side effects.
That generally makes the oral tablet a clear winner in terms of cost-effectiveness. However, it should be noted that anyone who has tried the oral tablet and has suffered severe side effects may want to try the gel instead. It is possible that they will experience fewer or milder side effects. Otherwise, it only makes sense to take the oral tablet as a default treatment for vaginal infections that can be treated with Metronidazole.
There will be people who try both forms of the drug and have greater success with one over the other. In their case, it would be prudent to use the more successful one. Since everyone is different and has different kinds of infections and different health situations, it is impossible to tell which form of the drug will be better suited for them right off the bat. Only testing them out will tell which one will cause fewer side effects and will be more effective overall on an individual basis. Anyone who is taking this drug under the instruction of their doctor should consult with their doctor after a few days to update them on how their infection is progressing, what side effects they are experiencing and if they should use a different form of the medication.