BASIC study: is intravaginal boric acid non-inferior to metronidazole in symptomatic bacterial vaginosis? Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Zeron Mullins, Melinda
Trouton, Konia M
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Abstract Background Bacterial vaginosis is associated with increased transmission of sexually transmitted infections, preterm labor, post-surgical infections, and endometritis. Current treatment for symptomatic bacterial vaginosis includes antibiotics, such as metronidazole, which are 70–80 % effective at one month after treatment and result in high recurrence rates and secondary candida infections. Intravaginal boric acid has been used for over a hundred years to treat vaginal infections, such as bacterial vaginosis. Boric acid is inexpensive, accessible, and has shown to be an effective treatment for other infections, such as vaginal candidiasis. To date, there has been no clinical trial evaluation of boric acid effectiveness to treat bacterial vaginosis. Methods/Design The BASIC (Boric Acid, Alternate Solution for Intravaginal Colonization) trial is a randomized, double-blinded, multicenter study. The study will enroll a minimum of 240 women of 16–50 years of age who are symptomatic with bacterial vaginosis. Eligible participants will have Amsel and Nugent scores confirming bacterial vaginosis. Women who are pregnant or menopausal or have other active co-infections will be excluded. Consenting participants who meet exclusion and inclusion criteria will be randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: boric acid, metronidazole, or an inert placebo. Self-administration of treatment intravaginally for 10 days will be followed by clinical assessment at 7 and 30 days (days 17 and 40, respectively) after the end of the treatment phase. Primary outcome is a non-inferiority, per-protocol comparison of the effectiveness of boric acid with that of metronidazole at day 17, as measured by the Nugent score in 16–50 year olds. Secondary outcomes include: non-inferiority, intention-to-treat comparison of effectiveness of boric acid with that of metronidazole at day 17, analysis for both per-protocol and intention-to-treat at day 40, and safety considerations, including adverse effects requiring patient discontinuation of treatment. Discussion This study will be the first to determine whether intravaginal boric acid is non-inferior to metronidazole in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis in symptomatic women. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00799214 , registered online Nov 10, 2008.