How Do I Choose the Best Antifungal for Candida?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 30 March 2020
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The best antifungal for Candida infection will typically depend on the location of the problem. Often, this type of fungus affects the vagina, and in such cases, a cream or suppository treatment is usually recommended. For Candida that affects the diaper area or the outer genital areas in conditions like jock itch, over-the-counter (OTC) anti-fungal treatments are typically effective. Sometimes, however, these infections become severe, fail to go away after treatment with OTC products, or return multiple times. In these cases, you may need a doctor’s prescription.

Candida is responsible for a range of fungal infections, including those that involve the vaginal or diaper area. People often treat these infections with OTC antifungal treatments that contain medications like clotrimazole or miconazole. Usually, these medications require several days of use, though some are potent enough to relieve symptoms in just a day or two. They come in cream form and in suppositories that are placed inside the vagina. These OTC medications are usually effective, and most people do not require further treatment.


Sometimes the treatment you use for this type of fungal infection may fail to do its job. Symptoms may persist or reoccur frequently. In such a case, a doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal for Candida, such as flucanozole or amphotericin B. Such medications are stronger and will treat you from the inside. They are, however, associated with such side effects as nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness. Though rare, you could even suffer liver damage or heart palpitations because of these medications.

This type of infection can also affect your mouth or throat or spread through your body via your bloodstream. In such a case, prescription medications are warranted. Oral medications are usually considered appropriate treatments in such a case, but injected medications are sometimes used as well. A systemic Candida infection can become serious, and you may even need hospitalization so that doctors can observe you and treat you with the most effective antifungal for Candida.

If you are pregnant, you might have additional concerns when it comes to treating fungal infections. OTC treatments that go in the vagina or on the skin are generally considered safe, though you might benefit from speaking with your doctor before use. Some oral medications, such as itraconazole, have the potential to cause birth defects. As such, doctors usually take care with prescribing oral antifungals to their patients. During pregnancy, amphotericin B is often considered a safer antifungal for Candida.



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