Can Penicillin Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?

Gilbert Laurie/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

According to Mayo Clinic and WebMD, bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics; however, the antibiotics usually used for treatment are not in the penicillin family. Bacterial infections are matched with the type of antibiotics that kills particular strains.

Bacterial vaginosis is a mild bacterial infection of the vagina. It is caused by an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in a woman’s vagina. When there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria, an infection results, causing a smelly, white or gray discharge.

Some doctors prefer to wait and see if bacterial vaginosis goes away on its own. For some women, the infection will clear up after a few days. If the problem persists, however, a doctor will prescribe medication so that the infection does not risk causing pelvic inflammatory disease.

Doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic from the metronidazole or tinidazole family to treat bacterial vaginosis. These medications include Flagyl, Metrogel-Vaginal and Tindamax. They may also prescribe clindamycin vaginal cream such as Cleocin or Clindesse.

The penicillin group of drugs includes amoxicillin, ampicillin, dicloxacillin and oxacillin. These antibiotics are usually used to treat ear infections and strep throat and are not normally prescribed for bacterial vaginosis. The strains of bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis are usually resistant to penicillin.