Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. This yeast normally coexists with other friendly bacteria on the skin, mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary tract, mouth etc. It is harmless in small numbers and its number is controlled by the normal flora in a healthy immune system. But when the immune system is compromised due to various factors, the yeast multiply unchecked, thus causing yeast infection. Some vaginal yeast infection patients try to treat their medical condition with an antifungal medication called fluconazole. But do fluconazole and vaginal yeast infection share an effective relationship?
belongs to a new subclass of synthetic triazole agents
and is effective against a broad spectrum of fungi. This
drug acts by stopping the yeast cells from making
ergosterol, the main component of cell walls. It is
absorbed orally with or without food and is widely
distributed in body tissues. It is eliminated unchanged
in the urine and therefore not indicated in patients
with renal disease. For vaginal yeast infections, a
single dose of 150 mg is recommended. It begins working
as soon as the tablet is taken and continues to work for
next several days. Most women begin to notice relief of
symptoms within 24 hours. For some women, it may take
three to four days to see any improvement. Almost 80%
women reported relief after a single dose of
fluconazole. The dosage may be repeated on medical
to its renal and hepatic toxicity, it is contraindicated
in patients with liver and kidney diseases. Other
contraindications include pregnancy, breast-feeding,
diabetics on oral hypoglycemic medications, cisapride,
blood thinning medications, asthma medications etc.
Patients under 18 and those with HIV are not given
should be taken for the entire length of time as
prescribed by the doctor. The medicine may be stored at
room temperature away from moisture and heat and
definitely away from children. Liquid fluconazole may be
stored in the refrigerator but not allowed to freeze.
Throw away any leftover medication that is more than two
drug is generally well tolerated but occasionally may
cause side effects. These include nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea and flatulence, headache, allergic skin
reactions, seizures, fever, chills and flu-like symptoms
and yellow skin. Abnormal liver function tests and
severe hepatitis have been reported rarely. Moreover,
the infection may still persist even though the symptoms
have resolved. Fluconazole treats only the symptoms of
vaginal yeast infection and thus works temporarily to
relieve those symptoms. To prevent vaginal yeast
infection recurrence, one must take the drug daily,
which creates lifelong dependency.
Fluconazole and vaginal yeast infection, therefore, share an unreliable association. Even though vaginal yeast infections are known to be caused by Candida albicans, the etiological factors are more complex involving genetic traits, lifestyle, dietary pattern etc. The treatment would obviously, therefore, involve challenging all the causative factors. Only holistic therapy systems, which are more patient centered and less invasive, can accomplish this.