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Medications and Drugs To Treat Yeast Infections
There are quite a few medications out there to treat yeast infections, but it can be hard to figure out which yeast infection drug you should really use.
To a degree it's difficult, as only you can balance your current life circumstances, the risks you're willing to take and the level of effectiveness you want, but the following drug descriptions should help.
Remember that any yeast infection medication that comes in a cream, lotion or vaginal suppository can be either prescription or over the counter.
Prescription topical creams or suppositories for yeast infection are more powerful than over the counter varieties, but you'll often find the exact same medication in each.
However, any oral or injection yeast infection antifungal is only ever available by prescription.
When taken into the bloodstream by mouth or by injection, many yeast infection antifungals can cause liver damage, so these are never sold over the counter.
Nystatin can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Nystatin comes under several brand names, including Mycostatin, Mycostatin Pastilles, Nadostine, Nilstate, Nystex, and Nystop. It's an antifungal medication used to treat a variety of fungal problems, including genital yeast infections and oral yeast infections. It's most often prescribed when a fungal infection is a possible complication of a particular disease or course of treatment. It's milder than other antifungals, which means that it has less risks but it's also sometimes less effective.
Nystatin will generally relieve symptoms within three days from the beginning of the course. Even though symptoms are gone, it's important to take the entire course to avoid getting a medication resistant version of the infection coming right back. Nystatin vaginal suppositories and oral pastilles can control the entire range of yeast infection symptoms, including itching, inflammation and discharge. The minimum length of therapy is two weeks, and that will usually do the job admirably. However, longer courses are possible under special circumstances.
Nystatin is considered safe for pregnant women to take and is often used to prevent Candida infections in newborns by treating Mom for three to six weeks prior to the due date if she suffers from an active infection. It can also be used by breastfeeding mothers and senior citizens without restriction.
The most common side effects of nystatin taken by mouth are nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea. If taken as a vaginal cream or suppository, the most common side effect is vaginal irritation. The oral side effects can be ignored, but if vaginal irritation should result from the creams or suppositories you should call a doctor immediately. Overdosing on nystatin can cause stomach irritation or upset, and also requires a doctor's call.
Triamcinolone can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Triamcinolone is a corticosteroid often used to treat skin problems or other bodily inflammation. It's also marketed under several brand names, including Aristocort, Atolone and Kenacort. It was used in the past to help with the inflammation of a yeast infection, but we know now that it's a bad idea. Triamcinolone, like other corticosteroids, modify the immune system's response and can make a yeast infection worse.
If you develop a yeast infection and are taking triamcinolone for something else, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Never suddenly stop taking triamcinolone due to the risk of adrenal gland failure. The most common side effect of triamcinolone is an upset stomach, which may lead to stomach ulcers in time. The side effects termed "common" are water retention, heart failure, potassium loss, muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, slowed wound healing, bruises, increased sweating, allergic rashes, itching, convulsions, dizziness and headache. Obviously, this isn't the sort of medication to prescribe to just anyone, and appropriate medical supervision is required.
Clotrimazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Clotrimazole is an azole class medication for fungal infections in the mouth, skin and vaginal tract. It's marketed under several brand names, including Fungoid, Lotrimin, Mycelex, and Mycelex-G. It comes as cream, vaginal cream, vaginal suppositories and oral lozenges. Oral clotrimazole works best on an empty stomach either one hour before or two hours after a meal, but the lozenges can be taken near food if necessary.
The side effects of clotrimazole vary depending on where it goes. The side effects for the cream include redness, stinging, blistering, peeling, itching and swelling of the area the cream is applied to. The side effects of the oral lozenges include stomach cramps, gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. The vaginal applications can give mild burning, rashes, mild cramps, increased urination frequency and the possibility of burning or itching in your sexual partner, so it's important to use a condom or abstain from sexual contact while using vaginal clotrimazole.
The most common dosage for the cream is one applicator full for seven to fourteen days. If using the cream vaginally, you will probably want to put it in at night and wear a sanitary pad to both save your clothing and make sure it has the most effect possible. The vaginal tablets are usually inserted once per day at bedtime for seven days or twice per day morning and night for three days. The oral lozenges usually have to be taken five times per day for two weeks or more to make sure the infection is completely gone.
There is no information on overdose symptoms. Pregnant women with yeast infection shouldn't generally use this medication, but if it's necessary then you'll need to work closely with your obstetrician to ensure no harmful effects on the baby. Clotrimazole doesn't pass through breastmilk, so nursing mothers can take it. Seniors can take it without restrictions or problems.
Miconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Miconazole, commonly sold under the brand name Monistat, is an antifungal medication prescribed for fungal infections of the vagina, the skin, and the blood. It's provided in several different formats, including topical cream, vaginal cream, vaginal suppositories and an IV form for hospital administration.
The usual dosage for vaginal cream or suppositories is one dose every day at bedtime for between three to seven days, depending on the exact product used. The usual dose for topical creams or lotions is one application twice per day, once in the morning and once at night, for a total of one month. Topical infections are generally a bit harder to treat, thus the longer course time.
The common side effects of vaginal miconazole are itching, burning, irritation and redness. Less common side effects are pelvic cramps, hives or rashes and headache. Hives or rashes tend to indicate an allergic reaction, so if you have any of the more rare side effects you probably want to speak to your doctor to see if there is an alternative medication. The topical cream can also produce irritation as a side effect, while the side effects of IV miconazole are vein irritation, itching, rash, nausea, vomiting, fever, drowsiness, diarrhea, loss of appetite and red flushing of the skin. If you're getting IV miconazole, you're probably in the hospital so your side effects would be monitored by the staff.
Overdose on or ingestion by mouth of miconazole will most often produce an upset stomach. If overdose occurs, call your doctor or local poison control center immediately to find out what you should do.
Miconazole should not be used by pregnant women without specific instructions by a doctor, but breastfeeding mothers and senior citizens can use it without problems.
Tioconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Tioconazole is most often marketed under the brand name Vagistat. It's an antifungal medication most often prescribed for vaginal, skin or blood fungal infections. It has the same side effects, overdose effects and restrictions as miconazole.
Butoconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Butoconazole is most often marketed under the brand name Femstat. Like miconazole and tioconazole, it's indicated for skin, vaginal and blood fungal infections, and shares the same side effects, overdose effects and restrictions.
Terconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Terconazole is an antifungal medication marketed as Terazol 3 and Terazol 7. It's indicated specifically for fungal infections of the vagina, and it comes in both cream and suppository form. The cream can also be applied to the skin for fungal infections there.
The most common dosage is one applicator or suppository inserted at bedtime for three or seven days, depending on the specific product used. If the cream is being used for a skin yeast infection, the most common recommended course of treatment is to apply the cream to the infection twice per day for up to one month.
If being used for a vaginal yeast infection, it's important to either refrain from sexual contact or use a condom for the entire course of treatment. This keeps the medication from irritating the male urethra. If using it for a male yeast infection, the cream is rubbed in around the head of the penis instead of being forced in as would happen during sexual intercourse.
The most common side effect of terconazole is headache. Rare side effects are painful menstruation, genital pain, overall body pain, fever, chills, and vaginal irritation that may manifest as burning, itching or discomfort. Application to a skin yeast infection may rarely cause skin irritation. If you should suffer from a rare side effect, you may want to talk to a doctor in order to find a good alternative. In addition, if you should suffer any indication of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, hives or a lot of swelling, talk to a doctor soon in order to find a medication you're not allergic to.
Overdose of terconazole applied topically can cause any of the side effects, most often irritation. Accidental ingestion can cause upset stomach. In the case of overdose or accidental ingestion, call a doctor or the local poison control center in order to find the proper procedure in your area.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use terconazole, as the medication does get into the blood and passes through breast milk. Senior citizens can use terconazole without problems.
Isoconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Isoconazole is an antifungal medication most often prescribed for fungal infection of the external skin, and it's mostly found in cream form.
I could not find a single instance of its use in an oral form.
It is most closely related to ketoconazole, and is generally marketed under the brand name "Travogen."
It can be applied to the skin once or twice per day, as directed.
The most serious side effect it causes is irritation of the local area skin.
It's rather rare, but it is available over the counter.
Never take it internally, and pregnant or nursing mothers shouldn't take it at all just like all the other azole class antifungals.
Fluconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Fluconazole is one of the most powerful antifungal medications, and is usually marketed as Diflucan. This is the infamous one dose yeast infection treatment. Diflucan comes in a few different forms, all taken by mouth or IV. It's prescribed for fungal infections of the mouth, throat, vagina, central nervous system and blood. While it is extremely effective and often safe, it can cause liver damage in some of the population so should be watched carefully. An extensive skin rash is one of the most important signposts of drug toxicity, so any rash developed during treatment should be reported to your doctor immediately.
The most common fluconazole side effects are nausea, headache, rash, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you find that the side effects are just too much, you may want to talk to your doctor about a different medication next time. If you're taking an extended course of fluconazole, there may be an alternative you can switch to. If you're on the one dose variety, the fungal infection is probably taken care of for now, but it's important to know you're sensitive to the drug for the next time.
The symptoms of fluconazole overdose can get quite severe. They include breathing problems, lethargy, lots of eye tearing up, drooping eyelids, lots of saliva, urinary incontinence, convulsions and a blue color under the nails. Go straight to an emergency room without delay.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should never take fluconazole without dire need, and senior citizens need careful medical monitoring to make sure no liver damage results.
Ketoconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Ketoconazole is another of the more powerful antifungal medications, commonly offered under the brand name Nizoral. It's prescribed for fungal infections of the skin, fingernails, vagina and throughout the system. However, it is not effective against fungal infections in the central nervous system. Ketoconazole comes in both an oral and a cream form. Rarely, first time users will have a serious allergic reaction that includes itching, rash and breathing problems. These are life threatening and require emergency attention at once.
The oral version of ketoconazole will usualy be taken with food once or twice a day for up to several months. Under normal circumstances, you should avoid taking antacids and ketoconazole near each other, as the antacids can keep the ketoconazole from building up to an effective dose in the blood. The cream form should be inserted or applied once or twice a day for up to fourteen days.
The side effects of ketoconazole include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain or discomfort, itching and swollen breasts in men. The cream can also produce severe irritation at the site of application. While many will not experience any side effects at all, if side effects start to interfere with your quality of life you probably want to try and find an alternative.
Overdose on ketoconazole can cause liver damage and more severe versions of the regular side effects. Take an antacid immediately to interfere with the drug's absorption and go to an emergency room without delay.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should not take ketoconazole, but seniors can take it without extra medical supervision except in the case of people with pre-existing liver damage.
Itraconazole can be used as a Medication To Treat Yeast Infections
Itraconazole is a powerful oral antifungal most often marketed under the brand name of Sporanox. It's most often prescribed for fungal infections of the blood, skin, or nails. Because fungal infections in these areas can be quite difficult to treat, the course of medication usually goes on for at least three months. It's important to finish the entire course, no matter how tedious it might become.
The most common way that itraconazole is given is once per month by mouth. Don't eat grapefruits or drink grapefruit juice while taking itraconazole, because grapefruits can interfere with the liver channel that breaks itraconazole down leading to problems with drug absorption into the body.
The common side effects of itraconazole are nausea, vomiting, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swelling in the feet or legs, a feeling of tiredness, fever, overall feeling of being sick, itching and headache. If these side effects are really interfering with your daily life, you may want to try and find an alternative, but don't go off the medication without speaking to your doctor.
Overdose on itraconazole generally produces more severe forms of the given side effects. It requires an immediate emergency room visit to avoid permanent damage to the body. Like fluconazole, itraconazole can cause liver damage.
Pregnant and nursing mothers shouldn't take itraconazole, but senior citizens are usually ok unless they already have serious liver problems.
References used for Yeast Infection, Menopause and Hormone Therapy
Physician's Desk Reference 2006 edition
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