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April 3, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;239(14):1371-1379. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280410013001

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New metronidazole study: some reassuring findings for now  Is metronidazole (Flagyl) carcinogenic in humans? The question has aroused considerable interest because of the drug's widespread use in combating Trichomonas vaginalis and because of its known carcinogenicity in laboratory animals.Now investigators at the Mayo Clinic have produced a finding that, although not conclusive, is somewhat reassuring. In 767 women given at least one prescription of metronidazole for T vaginalis infections between 1960 and 1969, there has been no substantial increase in total cancer incidence over that expected for a normal population.The follow-up of these women is not yet complete, but 84% have been followed up for more than five years and 56% have been followed up for more than ten years. The Mayo team, headed by C. Mary Beard, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, and Kenneth L. Noller, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, believes that the