Everyone gets sick, and everyone also has their fair share of horror stories when it comes to dealing with a doctor. Did you know that fluconazole (or some other azole antifungal) is the gold standard treatment for oral candidiasis? Well if you didn’t, let us help you now.
What is fluconazole?
Fluconazole is an antifungal drug used to treat fungal infections such as vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush (a fungal infection in your mouth), and certain types of athlete’s foot.
Fluconazole belongs to a class of drugs called azoles. It works by killing fungi or preventing them from growing. Fluconazole is used to treat serious fungal infections such as cryptococcal meningitis, histoplasmosis, and blastomycosis that cannot be cured with other medications.
Fluconazole is also used to prevent fungal infections in patients receiving chemotherapy. This medication is applied to the skin or injected into a muscle. It is sometimes injected into a vein through an IV. Fluconazole is a fungicide.
How does it work?
Fluconazole works as an antifungal agent. It inhibits the synthesis of ergosterol and formation of the fungal cell membrane in pathogenic fungi. It also inhibits the growth of the fungi by damaging the cytoplasmic membrane.
- Oral administration of fluconazole may be as effective as invasive methods in the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis.
- Fluconazole may be an effective treatment option for patients with vaginal candidiasis caused by non-albicans species.
- Chronic treatment with fluconazole may reduce the risk of relapse in patients with cryptococcal meningitis.
- Fluconazole may be as effective as amphotericin B in the treatment of candidal infections.
- Fluconazole may have a role in preventing candidal infections during chemotherapy.
Some common side effects of fluconazole include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and heartburn. More serious side effects include liver damage, allergic reactions such as rashes or hives, low blood sugar, and serotonin syndrome.
Additionally, patients who are already taking fluconazole and who are taking medication for HIV/AIDS should be aware that there is an increased risk of developing lactic acidosis with fluconazole. Patients who take fluconazole and who have other health conditions such as liver or kidney problems, diabetes, or low blood sugar, may also be at increased risk of lactic acidosis.
Patients should inform their doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms while taking fluconazole: feeling very weak, tired, or unwell; muscle aches; being sick; being short of breath; having a fever greater than 38.5 °C; or having a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Warnings and Precautions
Fluconazole is not recommended for children younger than 6 months of age. Because of the risk of severe side effects in this age group, fluconazole is not considered to be a safe option.
Patients with liver or kidney problems may experience more severe side effects with fluconazole. Patients with diabetes also may be at increased risk of lactic acidosis. Patients with low blood sugar or taking certain medications may be at increased risk for serotonin syndrome.
Patients taking fluconazole may experience low blood sugar or symptoms of serotonin syndrome if they take another medicine that increases serotonin levels.
Fluconazole is given as a single dose, or 2 doses 4 hours apart, for oral thrush infection. For the treatment of candidal infections, the recommended dosage is 400 mg once or twice daily for 2 weeks. For the prevention of candidal infections during chemotherapy, 150 mg is taken daily.
Fluconazole is a highly effective drug that treats a wide range of fungal infections. It can also be used to prevent fungal infections in patients receiving chemotherapy. Fluconazole is generally well-tolerated and has few side effects compared to other antifungal medications. Fluconazole can be taken by mouth, by injection, or as a vaginal suppository.
However, it should be noted that guidelines vary, and your doctor may prescribe a different dosage or frequency depending on your condition.