Background: Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most prevalent complications among reproductive-aged women. Antibacterial and antifungal effects of Berberis vulgaris have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. 

Objectives: This study aimed to compare the therapeutic effects of the vaginal gel of Berberis vulgaris 5% (in metronidazole base) with metronidazole vaginal gel 0.75% on bacterial vaginosis on 80 patients referred to the Hajar Hospital from January 2012 to April 2013. 

Methods: This study was a randomized clinical trial research on 80 women affected by bacterial vaginosis, who were randomly divided into two groups of 40 participants. Diagnostic criteria were Amsel’s criteria and Gram stain. Berberis vulgaris 5% (in metronidazole gel base) or metronidazole vaginal gel for five-night usage was prescribed to each group, and after two to seven days therapeutic effects and Amsel criteria were assessed. Data analysis was performed by SPSS 16 using Student t-test, chi-square, and ANOVA tests.

Results: Findings of the study showed a statistically significant difference with regard to treatment response between the study groups (p<0.001), and the Berberis vulgaris group had a better response than the metronidazole gel group. The patients in groups of Berberis vulgaris in a metronidazole gel base did not experience any relapse, but, in the metronidazole group, 30% of patients experienced relapse during three weeks’ follow-up.  

Conclusions: Findings of the study showed that adding Berberis vulgaris fruit extract on metronidazole improve the efficacy of bacterial vaginosis therapy.

Clinical trial registration: The trial was registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://www.irct.ir) with the IRCT ID: IRCT201411102085N13.

Funding: Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences supported this research.


Keywords: Berberis vulgaris, Metronidazole, Vaginosis
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