Fluconazole

Fluconazole is an antifungal medicine. It is used to treat and prevent yeast infections. Usually prescribed as a single dose. However, more than one dose may be required.

Fluconazole Overview

Reviewed: September 19, 2012
Updated: 

Fluconazole is a prescription medication used to treat fungal infections in various parts of the body including the mouth, throat, genitals, brain, urinary tract, lungs and other organs. It is also used to prevent fungal infection in people with a weak immune system. Fluconazole is in a group of drugs called azole antifungals which work by inhibiting a fungal enzyme needed for the fungus to grow.

This medication comes in tablet and oral suspension forms to be taken by mouth and is usually taken once a day, with or without food.

Fluconazole is also available as an injectable to be injected into the vein (IV) by a healtchare professional. 

Common side effects include headache, diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how fluconazole will affect you.

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What are you taking Fluconazole for?

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  • Other
  • Aids-related Opportunistic Infections
  • Blastomycosis
  • Candidiasis, Chronic Mucocutaneous
  • Candidiasis, Oral
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Fungemia
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Meningitis, Cryptococcal
  • Mycoses

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Fluconazole Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Fluconazole

Fluconazole is a prescription medication used to treat fungal infections in various parts of the body including the mouth, throat, genitals, brain, urinary tract, lungs and other organs. It is also used to prevent fungal infection in people with a weak immune system.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Fluconazole Brand Names

Fluconazole may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Fluconazole Drug Class

Fluconazole is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Fluconazole

Like all medicines, fluconazole may cause some side effects that are usually mild to moderate.

The most common side effects of fluconazole are:

  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or upset stomach
  • dizziness
  • stomach pain
  • changes in the way food tastes

Allergic reactions to fluconazole are rare, but they can be very serious if not treated right away by a doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Signs of an allergic reaction can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • fever
  • chills
  • throbbing of the heart or ears
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, mouth, neck, or any other part of the body
  • skin rash, hives, blisters or skin peeling

Fluconazole has been linked to rare cases of serious liver damage, including deaths, mostly in patients with serious medical problems. Call your doctor if:

  • your skin or eyes become yellow
  • your urine turns a darker color
  • your stools (bowel movements) are light-colored
  • you vomit or feel like vomiting
  • you have severe skin itching

Fluconazole may cause other less common side effects besides those listed here. If you develop any side effects that concern you, call your doctor. For a list of all side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Fluconazole Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • diabetes medicines such as glyburide, tolbutamide, glipizide
  • blood pressure medicines like hydrochlorothiazide, losartan, amlodipine, nifedipine or felodipine
  • blood thinners such as warfarin
  • cyclosporine, tacrolimus or sirolimus (used to prevent rejection of organ transplants)
  • rifampin or rifabutin for tuberculosis
  • astemizole for allergies
  • phenytoin or carbamazepine to control seizures
  • theophylline to control asthma
  • cisapride for heartburn
  • quinidine (used to correct disturbances in heart rhythm)
  • amitriptyline or nortriptyline for depression
  • pimozide for psychiatric illness
  • amphotericin B or voriconazole for fungal infections
  • erythromycin for bacterial infections
  • cyclophosphamide or vinca alkaloids such as vincristine or vinblastine for treatment of cancer
  • fentanyl, afentanil or methadone for chronic pain
  • halofantrine for malaria
  • lipid lowering drugs such as atorvastatin, simvastatin, and fluvastatin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including celecoxib, ibuprofen, and naproxen
  • prednisone, a steroid used to treat skin, gastrointestinal, hematological or respiratory disorders
  • antiviral medications used to treat HIV like saquinavir or zidovudine
  • vitamin A nutritional supplement
  • tofacitinib (Xeljanz)

This is not a complete list of fluconazole drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Fluconazole Precautions

To avoid a possible serious reaction, do NOT take fluconazole if you are taking erythromycin, astemizole, pimozide, quinidine, and cisapride (Propulsid) since it can cause changes in heartbeat in some people if taken with fluconazole. See "Fluconazole Interactions".

Allergic reactions to fluconazole are rare, but they can be very serious if not treated right away by a doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Signs of an allergic reaction can include shortness of breath; coughing; wheezing; fever; chills; throbbing of the heart or ears; swelling of the eyelids, face, mouth, neck, or any other part of the body; or skin rash, hives, blisters or skin peeling.

Fluconazole has been linked to rare cases of serious liver damage, including deaths, mostly in patients with serious medical problems. Call your doctor if your skin or eyes become yellow, your urine turns a darker color, your stools (bowel movements) are light-colored, or if you vomit or feel like vomiting or if you have severe skin itching.

In patients with serious conditions such as AIDS or cancer, rare cases of severe rashes with skin peeling have been reported. Tell your doctor right away if you get a rash while taking fluconazole.

Fluconazole can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how fluconazole will affect you.

Fluconazole Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of fluconazole, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.

 

Inform MD

Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor if you:

  • are taking any over-the-counter medicines you can buy without a prescription, including natural or herbal remedies
  • have any liver problems
  • have any other medical conditions
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or think you might be pregnant. Your doctor will discuss whether fluconazole is right for you.
  • are breastfeeding. Fluconazole can pass through breast milk to the baby.
  • are allergic to any other medicines including those used to treat yeast and other fungal infections.
  • are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Fluconazole and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C if you are using a single 150 mg tablet for vaginal candidiasis infection. There are no well-done studies of fluconazole in pregnant women. Available human data do not suggest an increased risk of abnormalities single dose of 150 mg.

This medication falls into category D for all other types of infections. It has been shown that use of fluconazole in pregnant women caused some babies to be born with problems. However, in some serious situations, the benefit of using this medication may be greater than the risk of harm to the baby.

 

Fluconazole and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Fluconazole has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from fluconazole, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

 

Fluconazole Usage

  • Take fluconazole by mouth with or without food. You can take fluconazole at any time of the day.
  • Fluconazole keeps working for several days to treat the infection. Generally the symptoms start to go away after 24 hours. However, it may take several days for your symptoms to go away completely. If there is no change in your symptoms after a few days, call your doctor.
  • Just swallow 1 fluconazole tablet to treat your vaginal yeast infection.
  • Fluconazole is also available as an injectable to be injected into the vein (IV) by a healtchare professional. 
  • Some medicines can affect how well fluconazole works. Check with your doctor before starting any new medicines within seven days of taking fluconazole.

Fluconazole Dosage

Take fluconazole exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The fluconazole dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following the condition being treated

  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your age

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis in adults is 150 mg as a one-time dose.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in adults is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of esophageal candidiasis in adults is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg to 400 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of systemic candida infections in adults is up to 400 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of UTIs and peritonitis in adults is 50 mg to 200 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in adults is 400 mg on the first day, followed by 200 mg to 400 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole to prevent infection in adults undergoing bone marrow transplant is 400 mg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of esophageal candidiasis in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg to 12 mg/kg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of systemic candida infections in children is 6-12 mg/kg once daily.

The recommended dose of fluconazole for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in children is 12 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 6 mg/kg to 12 mg/kg once daily.

Fluconazole Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Keep fluconazole and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Store tablets below 86°F (30°C).
  • Store dry powder below 86°F (30°C). Store reconstituted suspension between 86°F (30°C) and 41°F (5°C) and discard unused portion after 2 weeks. Protect from freezing.