Metronidazole is a generic prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat certain types of bacterial and parasitic infections.

The drug comes in several forms, which are listed in “Drug details” below. The form a doctor prescribes depends on the specific infection being treated.

Metronidazole is the active ingredient in this generic drug. An active ingredient is the ingredient that makes a drug work.

For more information about metronidazole, refer to this article. For details about the drug’s uses, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug details

Here are some details about metronidazole:

  • Drug class: nitroimidazole antimicrobials
  • Drug forms:
    • oral tablets
    • oral capsules
    • solution for IV injection by a healthcare professional
    • topical cream
    • topical gel
    • topical lotion
    • vaginal gel
  • Brand-name versions:*
    • Flagyl
    • Metrocream and Metrolotion
    • Noritate
    • Rosadan gel and Rosadan cream
    • Nuvessa
    • Vandazole

* For specifics about what infections each brand-name version of metronidazole treats, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Read on to learn about metronidazole and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.

As with all medications, the cost of metronidazole can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use. Your cost will also depend on whether you receive metronidazole injections at a clinic or hospital.

To find out what the cost of metronidazole will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Insurance considerations

Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and use metronidazole.

Prior authorization. If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers metronidazole. This means the company and your doctor will discuss metronidazole in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered.

If a drug requires prior authorization and you start treatment without the prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether metronidazole requires prior authorization.

Type of insurance coverage. Metronidazole injection is given by a healthcare professional at a hospital or clinic. (You can take or use the other forms of metronidazole at home.)

If you have insurance, the price of metronidazole injections may be billed through your primary health insurance instead of the prescription drug portion of your insurance. This depends on your insurance coverage and where you receive your metronidazole injection doses, such as at an infusion clinic or hospital.

If you have questions about this process, contact your doctor or insurance provider.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and metronidazole.

How does the price of metronidazole 400-mg tablets compare with that of 500-mg tablets?

Metronidazole tablets only come in strengths of 250 milligrams (mg) and 500 mg in the United States. The drug is not available as 400-mg tablets in the U.S.

The cost of metronidazole 500-mg tablets depends on several considerations, including:

  • your dosage
  • your treatment plan
  • whether you have insurance coverage or are paying out of pocket
  • the pharmacy you use without insurance coverage

To learn more about the exact cost of metronidazole 500-mg tablets, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have coverage).

Are the prices of metronidazole gel and cream the same?

The prices of metronidazole gel and cream may be the same if you have insurance coverage. However, without insurance, your cost may vary depending on the pharmacy you use and your treatment plan.

To find out more about the cost of metronidazole gel and cream, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. They can discuss your treatment plan and tell you how the gel and cream versions compare. Depending on the price difference, you can let your doctor know whether you have a preference for the gel or cream.

How can I determine metronidazole’s cost without insurance?

Metronidazole’s cost without insurance depends on the form of the drug your doctor has prescribed, your treatment plan, and even the pharmacy you use. The cost of the oral forms of metronidazole may be different from the topical forms.

The cost of metronidazole IV injections will typically be higher than oral or topical forms of the drug. This is because there may be a separate cost to receive the drug from a healthcare professional at a hospital or clinic.

Note that the form of metronidazole your doctor prescribes will depend on the condition being treated. As a result, you may not be able to switch from one form to another.

To find out the costs of different forms of metronidazole, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Metronidazole is a generic drug, which means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic drug is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Oral forms of metronidazole (tablets and capsules) are available under the brand-name Flagyl. If your doctor has prescribed metronidazole tablets or capsules and you’re interested in taking Flagyl tablets or capsules instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.

The metronidazole solution for IV injection only comes as a generic.

Topical forms of metronidazole (lotion, gel, and cream) are also available under other brand names. These include Metrocream, Metrolotion, Noritate, Rosadan gel, and Rosadan cream. The vaginal gel form of metronidazole is available under the brand names Nuvessa and Vandazole.

To find out how the cost of these brand-name drugs compares with the cost of generic versions of metronidazole, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you need financial support to pay for metronidazole, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:

These sites can provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.

Now that you’ve learned about cost and metronidazole, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to metronidazole. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for metronidazole.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.