Metronidazole (Flagyl®) versus Tinidazole (Tindamax®)
Based on "Antibiotic and Chemotherapy"
written by Roger G. Finch
Difference between Metronidazole and Tinidazole
|Available formulations||Oral, topical, intravaginal, intravenous||Oral|
• Trichomoniasis (tinidazole is useful in treating trichomoniasis that fails to respond to metronidazole)
• Bacterial vaginosis
|Anaerobic Bacterial Infections:
• Intra-abdominal Infections (peritonitis, intra-abdominal abscess, liver abscess)
• Skin and skin structure infections
• Endometritis, endomyometritis, tubo-ovarian abscess, postsurgical vaginal infections
• Meningitis, brain abscess
• Pneumonia, empyema, lung abscess
Tinidazole is more effective than metronidazole for giardiasis15
|Half-life||8 hours||10-15 hours,
the longer half-life contributes to prolonged duration of action
|Bioavailability||Oral close to 100%3
Cigarette smoking may decreases metronidazole bioavailability1
|Oral close to 100%4|
|Excretion||Via the urine - 60% to 80%, via feces- 6% to 15%||
Excreted by the liver and the kidneys. Via the urine - 20-25%, via feces - 12%
|Spectrum of activity:|| Bacteroides spp.
Bacteroides fragilis group
Anaerobic bacteria have greater susceptibility to tinidazole14
Giardia duodenalis (G. lamblia)
Tinidazole is active against some protozoa resistant to metronidazole12
|Side effects, safety||Side effects are very similar and include:
• Metallic taste
• Convulsive seizures
• Peripheral neuropathy2
|Contraindications||Hypersensitivity to nitroimidazole derivatives
First trimester of pregnancy
|Special populations||Treatment of amebiasis in children||Treatment of amebiasis and giardiasis in children|
|Food||Food does not affect the oral bioavailability.
Both metronidazole and tinidazole can be taken with food to minimize gastrointestinal side effects
Both metronidazole and tinidazole, nitroimidazole antimicrobials, have similar mechanism of action, antimicrobial spectrum of activity, toxicity, and adverse effects.
The main distinguishing features are the half-life and a set of licensed indications. Tinidazole advantages over metronidazole are prolonged duration of action, and better tolerability.
Tinidazole is significantly more effective than metronidazole in the treatment of intestinal amoebiasis, and is better tolerated than metronidazole 5.
|Results of clinical trial of metronidazole and tinidazole in intestinal amoebiasis 5||Metronidazole||Tinidazole|
|Regimen||2 g once daily for 3 consecutive days|
|Cure rates, number of patients||15 patients (55.5%)||28 patients (96.5%)|
|Cure with partial relief of symptoms||1 patient
|Treatment failure||7 patients
Amebic liver abscess
In the treatment of amebic liver abscess tinidazole provides earlier symptoms improvement, shorter duration of treatment, and causes less side effects17.
Seven days therapy of metronidazole or tinidazole provides equal cure rates in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Both medications show similar inhibitory activity against bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis 11.
|Results of clinical trial of metronidazole vs tinidazole in for bacterial vaginosis 6||Metronidazole||Tinidazole|
|Regimen||500 mg twice daily for 7 days||500 mg twice daily, or 1 g twice, for 7 days|
|Cure rates at 14 days||76.8%|
|Cure rates at 1 month||64.5%|
Tinidazole single dose regimen is more effective than metronidazole single dose in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
|Results of comparative study of metronidazole and tinidazole in for bacterial vaginosis 9||Metronidazole||Tinidazole|
|Regimen||single 2 g dose|
|Cure rate at 4 weeks||77.9%||97.7%|
Tinidazole 500 mg single dose provides better long-term cure rates than metronidazole 500 mg twice daily for 5 days and is more effective in preventing bacterial vaginosis relapses16.
Tinidazole is superior to metronidazole with regard to efficacy and tolerability. Resistance of Trichomonas vaginalis to metronidazole is higher than to tinidazole 10. Metronidazole-resistant cases of trichomoniasis can be successfully treated with tinidazole 12, 13.
|Results of randomized, comparative trial of tinidazole and metronidazole for trichomonal vaginitis 7||Metronidazole||Tinidazole|
|Regimen||single 2 g dose|
(32 patients of 50)
|94% (47 patients of 50)|
|Satisfactory clinical response||72%
(36 patients of 50)
(48 patients of 50)
|Severity and frequency of side-effects||significantly less with tinidazole than with metronidazole|
|Results of randomized study comparing efficacy of a metronidazole-based versus a tinidazole-based treatment for Helicobacter pylori8||Metronidazole||Tinidazole|
|Regimen||Metronidazole 250 mg 4 times a day, amoxicillin 1 g twice a day, and PPI standard dose for 7, 10 or 14 days.||Tinidazole 500 mg twice a day, amoxicillin 1 g twice a day, and PPI standard dose for 7, 10 or 14 days.|
|H. pylori eradication after 7 days||23 patients of 30
|20 patients of 27
|H. pylori eradication after 10 days||20 patients of 26
|20 patients of 26
|H. pylori eradication after 14 days||25 patients of 32
|21 patients of 27
- 1. Montalli VA, Bergamaschi Cde C, Ramacciato JC, Nolasco FP, Groppo FC, Brito RB Jr, Haas DA, Motta RH. The effect of smoking on the bioavailability of metronidazole in plasma and saliva. J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Feb;143(2):149-56. PubMed
- 2. Kato H, Sosa H, Mori M, Kaneko T. Clinical Characteristics of Metronidazole-induced Encephalopathy. Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2015 Sep;89(5):559-66. PubMed
- 3. Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 8th Ed., Saunders. pp. 350-360
- 4. Fung HB, Doan TL. Tinidazole: a nitroimidazole antiprotozoal agent. Clin Ther. 2005 Dec;27(12):1859-84. PubMed
- 5. Swami B, Lavakusulu D, Devi CS. Tinidazole and metronidazole in the treatment of intestinal amoebiasis. Curr Med Res Opin. 1977;5(2):152-6. PubMed
- 6. Schwebke JR, Desmond RA. Tinidazole vs metronidazole for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Mar;204(3):211.e1-6. PubMed
- 7. Anjaeyulu R, Gupte SA, Desai DB. Single-dose treatment of trichomonal vaginitis: a comparison of tinidazole and metronidazole. J Int Med Res. 1977;5(6):438-41. PubMed
- 8. Berrutti M, Pellicano R, Astegiano M, et al. Helicobacter pylori eradication: metronidazole or tinidazole? Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2008 Dec;54(4):355-8. PubMed
- 9. Thulkar J, Kriplani A, Agarwal N. A comparative study of oral single dose of metronidazole, tinidazole, secnidazole and ornidazole in bacterial vaginosis. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Mar;44(2):243-5. PubMed
- 10. Schwebke JR, Barrientes FJ. Prevalence of Trichomonas vaginalis isolates with resistance to metronidazole and tinidazole. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Dec;50(12):4209-10. PubMed
- 11. Austin MN, Meyn LA, Hillier SL. Susceptibility of vaginal bacteria to metronidazole and tinidazole. Anaerobe. 2006 Oct-Dec;12(5-6):227-30. PubMed
- 12. Hager WD. Treatment of metronidazole-resistant Trichomonas vaginalis with tinidazole: case reports of three patients. Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Jun;31(6):343-5. PubMed
- 13. Sobel JD, Nyirjesy P, Brown W. Tinidazole therapy for metronidazole-resistant vaginal trichomoniasis. Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Oct 15;33(8):1341-6. PubMed
- 14. Kałowski M, Dybicki J, Kedzia A, Lukiański M. Study of obligate anaerobic bacterial sensitivity to tinidazole and metronidazole (determination of minimal inhibiting concentration--MIC) Wiad Lek. 1993 Mar;46(5-6):211-5. PubMed
- 15. Nigam P, Kapoor KK, Kumar A, Sarkari NB, Gupta AK. Clinical profile of giardiasis and comparison of its therapeutic response to metronidazole and tinidazole. J Assoc Physicians India. 1991 Aug;39(8):613-5. PubMed
- 16. Raja IM, Basavareddy A, Mukherjee D, Meher BR. Randomized, double-blind, comparative study of oral metronidazole and tinidazole in treatment of bacterial vaginosis. Indian J Pharmacol. 2016 Nov-Dec;48(6):654-658. PubMed
- 17. Pandey S, Gupta GK, Wanjari SJ, Nijhawan S. Comparative study of tinidazole versus metronidazole in treatment of amebic liver abscess: A randomized control trial. Indian J Gastroenterol. 2018 May;37(3):196-201
Published: December 17, 2015
Last updated: August 14, 2018