Metronidazole is a synthetic antibacterial compound. Disposition of metronidazole in the body is similar for both oral and intravenous dosage forms, with an average elimination half-life in healthy humans of eight hours.
The major route of elimination of metronidazole and its metabolites is via the urine (60-80% of the dose), with fecal excretion accounting for 6-15% of the dose. The metabolites that appear in the urine result primarily from side-chain oxidation [1-(ß-hydroxyethyl)-2-hydroxymethyl-5-nitroimidazole and 2-methyl-5-nitroimidazole-1-yl-acetic acid] and glucuronide conjugation, with unchanged metronidazole accounting for approximately 20% of the total. Renal clearance of metronidazole is approximately 10 mL/min/1.73 m2.
Metronidazole is the major component appearing in the plasma, with lesser quantities of the 2-hydroxymethyl metabolite also being present. Less than 20% of the circulating metronidazole is bound to plasma proteins. Both the parent compound and the metabolite possess in vitro bactericidal activity against most strains of anaerobic bacteria.
Metronidazole appears in cerebrospinal fluid, saliva and breast milk in concentrations similar to those found in plasma. Bactericidal concentrations of metronidazole have also been detected in pus from hepatic abscesses.
Plasma concentrations of metronidazole are proportional to the administered dose. An eight-hour intravenous infusion of 100-4,000 mg of metronidazole in normal subjects showed a linear relationship between dose and peak plasma concentration.
In patients treated with intravenous metronidazole, using a dosage regimen of 15 mg/kg loading dose followed six hours later by 7.5 mg/kg every six hours, peak steady-state plasma concentrations of metronidazole averaged 25 mcg/mL with trough (minimum) concentrations averaging 18 mcg/mL.
Decreased renal function does not alter the single-dose pharmacokinetics of metronidazole. However, plasma clearance of metronidazole is decreased in patients with decreased liver function.
In one study newborn infants appeared to demonstrate diminished capacity to eliminate metronidazole. The elimination half-life, measured during the first three days of life, was inversely related to gestational age. In infants whose gestational ages were between 28 and 40 weeks, the corresponding elimination half-lives ranged from 109 to 22.5 hours.
Metronidazole is active in vitro against most obligate anaerobes, but does not appear to possess any clinically relevant activity against facultative anaerobes or obligate aerobes. Against susceptible organisms, metronidazole is generally bactericidal at concentrations equal to or slightly higher than the minimal inhibitory concentrations. Metronidazole has been shown to have in vitro and clinical activity against the following organisms:
Anaerobic gram-negative bacilli, including:
Bacteroides species, including the Bacteroides fragilis group (B. fragilis, B. distasonis, B. ovatus, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. vulgatus)
Anaerobic gram-positive bacilli, including:
Clostridium species and susceptible strains of Eubacterium
Anaerobic gram-positive cocci, including:
Bacteriologic studies should be performed to determine the causative organisms and their susceptibility to metronidazole; however, the rapid, routine susceptibility testing of individual isolates of anaerobic bacteria is not always practical, and therapy may be started while awaiting these results.
Quantitative methods give the most accurate estimates of susceptibility to antibacterial drugs. A standardized agar dilution method and a broth microdilution method are recommended1.
Control strains are recommended for standardized susceptibility testing. Each time the test is performed, one or more of the following strains should be included: Eubacterium lentum ATCC 43055, Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 25285, and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron ATCC 29741. The mode metronidazole MICs for those three strains are reported to be 0.125, 0.25, and 0.5 mcg/mL, respectively.
A clinical laboratory test is considered under acceptable control if the results of the control strains are within one doubling dilution of the mode MICs reported for metronidazole.
A bacterial isolate may be considered susceptible if the MIC value for metronidazole is not more than 16 mcg/mL. An organism is considered resistant if the MIC is greater than 16 mcg/mL. A report of "resistant" from the laboratory indicates that the infecting organism is not likely to respond to therapy.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE OF VIAFLEX PLUS PLASTIC CONTAINER
Metronidazole Injection, USP RTU® is a ready-to-use iso-osmotic solution. No dilution or buffering is required. Do not refrigerate. Each container of Metronidazole Injection, USP RTU® contains 14 mEq of sodium.
Warning: Do not use plastic containers in series connections. Such use could result in air embolism due to residual air being drawn from the primary container before administration of the fluid from the secondary container is completed.
Tear overwrap down side at slit and remove solution container. Some opacity of the plastic due to moisture absorption during the sterilization process may be observed. This is normal and does not affect the solution quality or safety. The opacity will diminish gradually. Check for leaks. Do not add supplementary medication.
Preparation for Administration
- Suspend container from eyelet support.
- Remove plastic protector from outlet port at bottom of container.
- Attach administration set. Refer to complete directions accompanying set.