Fluconazole is an antifungal medication intended to treat a variety of yeast and fungal infections. The medication belongs to the azole antifungal family, which works to prevent the growth of certain kinds of fungus in the human body.
What is Fluconazole?
Fluconazole is an antifungal medication only available via prescription. It comes in different forms, including a tablet or a suspension liquid that is taken by mouth. Fluconazole tablets are available in their generic form, or they may be given under a brand name. Fluconazole belongs to a group called azole or triazole antifungals. These medications work by preventing the reproductive function of certain kinds of yeast and fungi, including cryptococcus and candida. For people who have infections caused by these kinds of fungus, Fluconazole can help to get rid of the underlying infection. Fluconazole can also be given for other purposes.
When is Fluconazole used?
Fluconazole is typically given by a doctor or consultant for the treatment of infections caused by yeast and fungus. It can also be prescribed to prevent or reduce the risk of infections that may occur as a result of candidiasis. Fluconazole can prevent vaginal yeast infections, thrush and other conditions, as well as preventing or treating infections in other parts of the body, including the lungs and throat.
People who have recently had transplants of their bone marrow may be asked to take Fluconazole so that they can increase their defences against candidiasis. This is because serious forms of treatment such as a bone marrow transplant can often leave you exposed to a greater risk of infection, caused by a reduced functioning of your immune system.
How do you use Fluconazole?
Fluconazole will come with a patient leaflet that provides plenty of information about how to take this medication safely, and what you might be able to do to avoid side effects. It is important to read the patient leaflet provided to you whenever you get Fluconazole, even if you have taken this medication before. The most common way to get Fluconazole is in its tablet form, which you will need to take by mouth. You can take Fluconazole tablets with or without food, as directed by your consultant.
Fluconazole may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous. In this case, taking the medication with food can be helpful. If you take the liquid suspension version of this medication, it is important to shake the bottle that you are given thoroughly before each dose. You should also carefully measure the dose using a special device provided in the package. Do not try to measure using another spoon because this will make it harder for you to get the right dose.
Make sure that you continue taking Fluconazole for as long as you are told to do so by your doctor. Stopping your medication too early could increase your risk of having a fungus or yeast infection grow back and become resistant to the medication. Even if you feel better shortly after using Fluconazole, you should continue to take it for as long as your doctor has advised.
Fluconazole works best when it is kept at a consistent level in your body. This means that it is important to take your substance regularly, at the time that you are directed to do so. It is often easier to take Fluconazole with plenty of water.
What dosages are there?
Fluconazole is available in different dosages depending on the condition that you are trying to treat. Your doctor or consultant will suggest the dosage that is correct for you after carefully examining your condition and assessing your response to previous treatments. Usually when Fluconazole is given to children, the dosage will also be based on weight.
Generally when Fluconazole is given to children, the dosage should not be allowed to exceed a total of 600 mg per day, unless otherwise directed by a doctor. For adults over the age of 18, one 150 mg Fluconazole tablet might be enough. The dose of Fluconazole that you take for non-vaginal candidiasis can range anywhere between 50 mg and 400 mg, depending on the kind of treatment that you have. Because the kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to, it may be necessary to take a lower dose if you are over the age of 65.
What are the side effects Fluconazole?
Medications can often cause side effects, but these do not necessarily mean that your medication is not working as it is supposed to. However, you may need to monitor the way that you respond to substances such as Fluconazole to determine whether you should seek help from a doctor or try a different form of treatment.
The most common side effects of Fluconazole include:
- Stomach upset or pain;
- Hair loss;
If any of these conditions persist or get worse over time, you will need to speak to your doctor for more advice. If you experience any severe reactions, then you will need to seek medical help immediately. For instance, if you lose your appetite and get unusual feelings of tiredness, then this could be a sign that your adrenal glands are not working properly.
If you suffer from an irregular heartbeat, fainting or dizziness when taking Fluconazole tablets or suspension, obtain medical advice. In rare cases, this drug could cause liver disease. You will need to seek help if you notice any signs of liver disease, including abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea or yellowing of the skin or eyes. You should also seek help if you see the signs of an allergic reaction when taking Fluconazole tablets or suspension. This could include swelling in the throat or lips, or a persistent fever.
This is not a complete list of side effects, and if you notice any responses after taking Fluconazole tablets or suspension that concern you, including trouble breathing or heart issues, speak to your doctor or seek emergency help. You may need a different form of treatment.
When should you not use Fluconazole?
Although Fluconazole is a well-tolerated treatment for most people, it will not be the right course of treatment for everyone with an infection or fungal disease. Before you begin taking this medication, you will need to discuss your condition with a consultant. Tell them if you are allergic to any azole antifungal drugs, as well as Fluconazole. Additionally, it is important for your consultant to know if you have any other allergies that might cause you to react to the inactive ingredients in Fluconazole.
Answer any questions that your consultant may have about your medical history, particularly if you have ever had issues with kidney or liver disease. Fluconazole can sometimes cause a condition that affects the normal rhythm of your heart. QT prolongation can sometimes cause severe and even fatal symptoms such as fainting and dizziness. Your risk of this condition is increased if you are taking any other drugs that cause this problem, or if you have certain medical conditions.
Make sure your consultant is aware of any history of heart problems in your family, including heart failure. Additionally, ensure that your consultant knows if you have lower than usual levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood, as this could increase your risk of rare but serious side effects.
Older adults are more likely to be susceptible to the side effects caused by Fluconazole tablets or suspension. It is important to speak to your doctor about whether you need additional monitoring if you are over the age of 60. It is not recommended to take this medication if pregnant or breast feeding, as there is a chance that Fluconazole could cause harm to an unborn baby during the first three months of pregnancy. You may also need to discuss with your doctor whether Fluconazole will affect your contraceptive pill.
Does Fluconazole interact with other medications?
Fluconazole can interact with other medications that you may be taking to treat other conditions at the same time as your yeast or fungal infections. Interactions between different substances in your system can prevent your drugs from working properly. They may also increase your chances of experiencing dangerous side effects.
Before you begin taking Fluconazole tablets or suspension, your doctor will check to make sure it is safe to take alongside any other medication that you take. Make sure that your consultant is aware of any over-the-counter medications that you are using, as well as prescription drugs and herbal remedies. Do not change or stop certain dosages without permission from a doctor. Fluconazole may sometimes interact poorly with other medications that can increase your risk of an abnormal heart rhythm, especially if taken with other medications that can cause QT prolongation including erythromycin and pimozide.
Fluconazole may sometimes slow the removal of other medications from your body. This could change the way that certain drugs work, or may increase your chances of certain side effects. For instance, Fluconazole can affect the way that cisapride is removed from the body.
Where can you buy Fluconazole?
Fluconazole tablets and suspension are available to purchase through one of our partner pharmacies online. You can being a consultation now to find out more.
Can I get Fluconazole without a prescription?
Fluconazole is a prescription-only medication. You cannot get Fluconazole tablets or suspension without a prescription.
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Medicines.org.uk, online, 2020, “Fluconazole 150mg Capsules” [accessed 15 January 2020], available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/6086/smpc
Stewart, M. 20 November 2017, online, 2020, “Fluconazole for fungal infections”[accessed 15 January 2020], available on: https://patient.info/medicine/fluconazole-for-fungal-infections-azocan-diflucan-canesten