Yeast Infection Treatment
||Medications For Yeast Infections
Although prescription anti-fungal drugs play an important role in the treatment of a yeast infection, they still do not address the underlying cause of the overgrowth of Candida in the first place. This is why a holistic approach to treating recurrent infections is important. This requires a lifestyle change to some extent, following Candida diet guidelines, applying natural treatment for yeast infections, exercising and managing stress levels. So although, prescription medications play an important role in eradicating Candida albicans from the system, they should be viewed as the start of a comprehensive treatment, not the end.
Over the counter products usually resolve symptoms in 85 percent of cases. If infection persists or recurs, a doctor may prescribe stronger anti-fungal creams as well as anti-fungal prescription drugs.
Anti fungal Creams & Suppositories
Mild non-current cases of yeast infections can be treated with over the counter topical creams and suppositories. Creams are applied directly to the outside of the vagina to relieve itching and suppositories are inserted with a plunger type applicator. Monistat and Gyne-Lotrimin are popular brands in the States. Mycolog is another topical product which contains cortisone and should only be used in recurrent infections (brand names: Mycolog-II, Mytrex and Quenalog). Terazol is another anti-fungal cream but it is only available on prescription. Propion gel or gentian violet suppositories are other options but they tend to stain clothes.
There are two main types of prescription drugs for treating yeast infections, specifically for treating Candida albicans overgrowth. These are Azole and nystatin drugs.
Available in America since the 1950s, nystatin (Mycostatin) is an extremely effective anti fungal. It continues to be safe, the only concern doctors have is that its price has increased considerably in the past few years. Nystatin is a naturally occurring anti-fungal agent which is sourced from a product which grows in the soil. The reason it is so safe is because it is poorly absorbed. This is an advantage because it means that its effectiveness is limited. It can only do so much damage and that damage appears to limit the growth of Candida yeast organisms. The normal dosage is two 500,000 IU capsules a day. Some doctors prescribe nystatin on its own for yeast infections; others prefer to prescribe patients both nystatin and azoles. Then again, others may prescribe azoles for a few weeks and then recommend switching to nystatin for the long-term (6-12 months).
There are 3 types of azole drugs, these are: Diflucan (fluconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole) and Sporanox (itraconazole). Many doctors prescribe both an azole drug and nystatin. These may be taken together, or alternatively an azole first and then long term treatment with nystatin. The two medications compliment each other, in that unlike nystatin, azoles are effectively absorbed which means they rarely stay long enough in the colon to effectively kill Candida colonies. Nystatin compensates for this shortfall.
Diflucan is the most commonly prescribed of the azole drugs for short-term vaginitis treatment and long-term treatment of vaginal yeast infections. Initially is was intended for AIDS patients who’s immune systems were compromised. Since 1993 it has been approved for vaginal yeast problems. It is the most expensive of the Azole drugs (about $7 a pill compared to $3 for Sporanox, about €1.25 for Nizoral and 60 cents for nystatin), which is why some patients may opt for the other options if medication is required on a long-term basis. Diflucan appears to be the most effective for treating chronic intestinal candidiasis but Sporanox is more effective if skin and nails are affected with fungus. The manufacturer Pfizer do offer free supplies to those with limited incomes. To apply, your doctor will need to phone the Pfizer Inc Roerig Division: (800) 869-9979.
This medication has been approved by the FDA for treating thrush (Candida infections of the vagina, but also commonly of the mouth and throat). It is more effective in patients who appear resistant to Diflucan. Treatment is usually successful within 2 to 4 weeks. Patients with skin problems related to fungus infections, such as fungal infections of the toes and nails, are likely to be prescribed this medication. However, it should not be prescribed where a patient has a history of congestive heart failure.
Another powerful anti fungal drug, Nizoral’s main advantage is that it is the cheapest of the azole range. Yet it has been proven toxic if taken with alcohol and it should be avoided by those with liver problems.
Vfend (voriconazole) by Pfizer was approved by the FDA for treatment of yeast infections. Studies show that patients who do not show improvements with Diflucan are more likely to do so with this drug. Side effects reported however include blurred vision, photosensitivity and skin rashes. It should be avoided by those with kidney or liver problems.
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