Ransom SB, McComish JF, Greenberg R, Tolford DA
To compare the cost-effectiveness of metronidazole versus Metrogel Vaginal in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
Sixty consecutive patients with a clinical diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis were randomly assigned prospectively into either the metronidazole, 500 mg (twice daily for seven days by mouth) or Metrogel Vaginal (one applicator twice daily for five days) treatment group. The study patients were aged 18-30 years, without other medical problems. The patients proceeded with outpatient therapy and returned 7-10 days after the completion of treatment for reevaluation. During the study, patients refrained from sexual relations, avoided alcohol and drugs, and avoided all medication. The physician evaluated the patients for bacterial vaginosis through standard wet preparation, whiff test and pH testing prior to and after treatment. The patients were randomized by a nurse and were blinded for study purposes to the evaluating physician.
Successful treatment outcomes for bacterial vaginosis occurred in 27 and 28 patients for Metrogel Vaginal and metronidazole, respectively, out of the original 30 patients in each study group. All patients introduced into the study completed the study without difficulty. No significant complications were found in either treatment group. Three patients treated with metronidazole experienced nausea during the treatment interval. The entire cost of treatment was $19.71 and $1.51 for Metrogel Vaginal and metronidazole, respectively.
The most cost-effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis was generic metronidazole. While the use of the more expensive Metrogel Vaginal may be reasonable for patients experiencing side effects of oral metronidazole, most patients should be treated with the less expensive generic metronidazole.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.