Standby antifungal treatments for women who are prone to thrush and have been diagnosed with recurrent thrush by their GP or doctor

Please read the important information below before ordering

Thrush is one of the most common infections that women experience and often occurs as a recurrent infection. It is estimated to affect almost all women at some point in their lives, and while not usually a dangerous infection, it is often uncomfortable, especially if it persists or recurs frequently.

The inflammation of vaginal thrush can cause discomfort, with symptoms including itching, an unpleasant discharge, as well as burning when passing urine (dysuria). In severe cases the skin can crack and ulcerate.

In men thrush can cause soreness and inflammation of the head of the penis, and is known as candida balanitis.

Why do some people get thrush

More than half of all women will have at least one bout of thrush in their lifetimes. In most cases it develops for no apparent reason, in women and men who are entirely healthy.

The actual cause of this yeast infection is a fungus called Candida albicans, which is naturally present inside the vagina but leads to problems when the natural bacterial balance in the vagina is disturbed, causing the fungus to multiply and cause infection

In most cases, the reason why some women suffer with recurrent thrush is not known. Certain factors can make thrush more likely to develop, such as stress, using antibiotics, using perfumed cleansing products or wearing tight clothing

Those with uncontrolled diabetes or an impaired immune system (for example with steroid use or chemotherapy) are more likely to develop recurrent thrush

Treatment for Thrush

MyClinic provides a single-dose anti-fungal capsule (Fluconazole/Diflucan 150mg) to treat thrush. This anti-fungal medication eliminates thrush from the body, including thrush in the vagina

Thrush can be treated with tablets, pessaries inserted in the vagina and creams applied to the skin around the entrance to the vagina. The pessary or vaginal cream can be either a single one-off dose or daily dose for 3-6 days. The cream, used externally around the vaginal area, is usually applied 2-3 times daily for a week.

This capsule treatment may be more effective, in some cases, than pessaries and creams. A capsule is less messy to use. It is possible to use both capsules and creams and pessaries at the same time.

Fluconazole treatment for thrush is simple – just one capsule to be swallowed with a glass of water. You can take this medicine at any time of day, with or without a meal.

Women taking Fluconazole should see an improvement within a few days. Some women will notice improvement in 24 hours.

For men, the condition can take a little longer to clear up. The symptoms should clear up within a few days, although this can take up to a week.

If your condition hasn't cleared up within one week, you should consult a doctor.

Do partners need treatment for thrush?

Thrush is not a sexually transmitted disease in the sense that the yeast that causes the infection is present naturally and can flare up without any sexual contact. However, men and women can pass infection backwards and forward from penis to vagina, with often only one partner having symptoms of thrush.

For women who get regular thrush there is sometimes a benefit in treating male partners simultaneously. Similarly, in men who have irritation at the head of the penis caused by thrush, simultaneous treatment of female partner(s) may reduce recurrence.

Side effects

Creams and pessaries may cause skin irritation. Very little of the active ingredients of creams and pessaries are absorbed into the body.

The more common side effects for Fluconazole 150mg single-dose (occurring in one in ten patients) include nausea, stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, wind, rash and headache. However, these side effects are usually mild and don't tend to last long. If symptoms persist, or are particularly severe, contact your doctor. A serious allergic reaction to Fluconazole is rare

If you develop any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction you should seek urgent medical attention: 

  • Sudden wheezing, difficulty in breathing or tightness of the chest
  • Swelling of eyelids, face or lips
  • Itching all over the body, reddening of the skin, or itchy red spots
  • Severe skin rash, or a rash that causes blistering (this can affect the mouth and tongue)

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms, or if you experience any other severe reaction to this medicine. A full list of side effects is available on the patient information leaflet.

Cautions

If a diagnosis of thrush has not been made previously it is best to consult with your regular doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms not resolving within 10 days require investigation.

Thrush is an infection which can occur without sexual contact, so it is not a sexually transmitted disease. However, the infection can be passed on during sex, so it is recommended that you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up.

If you regularly suffer from thrush, then it's advisable that both you and your partner have thrush treatment at the same time.

Taking too much Fluconazole can make you unwell, so contact your doctor or nearest hospital immediately if you take more than you should.

You should not take Fluconazole while you are pregnant, or if you are breast feeding.

Do not take Fluconazole if you've ever had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients of Diflucan or any other medicines which you have taken to treat a fungal infection.

Do not take Fluconazole if you are taking terfenadine (an antihistamine for allergies) or cisapride (used for stomach upsets).

Tell your doctor before taking Fluconazole if you:

  • Are aged under 16 years
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Suffer from heart disease, including heart rhythm problems
  • Have abnormal levels of potassium, calcium or magnesium in your blood
  • Are taking any other medicines, or have recently taken before starting Fluconazole

Additional information

HSE Thrush Information page 

Fluconazole patient information leaflet

Canesten Pessary and Cream patient information leaflet


Start Consultation for Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Start Consultation for Thrush Pessaries & Creams

Dr Terry Deeny

Consult with our doctor online

How to use this service?

Fill out a questionnaire

A member of our medical team will then review your answers and if suitable send you a prescription by post.

Take your prescription to any Irish pharmacy to pay for the medication.

Your prescribing doctor's name and IMC registration number will be included on all prescriptions. 

 

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