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Vaginal Yeast Infections (cont.)

Vaginal Yeast Infection Medical Treatment

Both oral and topical (applied locally) medications are considered to be equally effective in uncomplicated infections (in women who have normal immune systems, who are not pregnant, and who do not have recurrent or severe infections). Oral medications may take slightly longer for symptom relief than topical preparations, but cure rates with both types of products are similar for uncomplicated infections.

Fluconazole (Diflucan) is the most commonly used oral medication for yeast infection. It may produce side effects such as nausea, headache, and abdominal pain. It is usually given in one dose of 150 mg.

Medications are also available in the form of vaginal tablets or cream applicators. These medications include the following:

  • miconazole (M-Zole Dual Pack, Micon 7, Monistat 3, Monistat 5, Monistat 7)
  • tioconazole (Monistat-1, Vagistat-1)
  • butoconazole (Gynazole 1)
  • clotrimazole (Mycelex-G, Femcare, Gyne-Lotrimin) (Reported cure rate of about 85% to 90%)
  • nystatin (Mycostatin) (Reported cure rate of about 75% to 80%)
  • terconazole (Terazol 3, Terazol 7)

In some cases, a single dose of medication has been shown to clear up yeast infections. In other cases, a longer period of medication (three days or seven days) might be prescribed.

In women who have weakened immune systems, more than one dose of oral medications may be prescribed. In these women, a longer course of topical medications (seven to 14 days) is also recommended.

For recurrent infection (more than four episodes per year), oral fluconazole and itraconazole or vaginal clotrimazole might be needed for six months. Oral medications are typically recommended if the symptoms are severe. In pregnant women, a longer course of treatment may be needed. Women should consult with their doctor before treatment. Women with an allergy to any ingredients contained within these products should not take them.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2013

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