Brand name: Diflucan
Generic name: Fluconazole
Why is this drug prescribed?
Diflucan is used to treat fungal infections called candidiasis (also known as thrush or yeast infections). These include vaginal infections, throat infections, and fungal infections elsewhere in the body, such as infections of the urinary tract, peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen), and pneumonia. Diflucan is also prescribed to guard against candidiasis in some people receiving bone marrow transplants, and is used to treat meningitis (brain or spinal cord inflammation) caused by another type of fungus.
Most important fact about this drug
Strong allergic reactions to Diflucan, although rare, have been reported. Symptoms may include hives, itching, swelling, sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing or swallowing, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, notify your doctor immediately.
How should you take this medication?
You can take Diflucan with or without meals.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed, and continue taking it for as long as your doctor instructs. You may begin to feel better after the first few days; but it takes weeks or even months of treatment to completely cure certain fungal infections.
--If you miss a dose...
Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take double doses.
Diflucan tablets should be stored at normal room temperature. Avoid exposing them to temperatures above 86°F.
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Diflucan.The most common side effect for people taking more than one dose is nausea.
For women taking a single dose to treat vaginal infection, the most common side effects are abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, and nausea; changes in taste, dizziness, and indigestion may occur less often.
Why should this drug not be prescribed?
Do not take Diflucan if you are sensitive to any of its ingredients or have ever had an allergic reaction to similar drugs, such as Nizoral. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Special warnings about this medication
Your doctor will watch your liver function carefully while you are taking Diflucan.
If your immunity is low and you develop a rash, your doctor should monitor your condition closely. You may have to stop taking Diflucan if the rash gets worse.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication
If Diflucan is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Diflucan with the following:
- Blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin
- Antidiabetic drugs such as Orinase, DiaBeta, and Glucotrol
- Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
- Hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL)
- Ulcer medications such as Tagamet
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
The effects of Diflucan during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Diflucan appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Diflucan is finished.
For throat infections
The usual dose for candidiasis of the mouth and throat is 200 milligrams on the first day, followed by 100 milligrams once a day. You should see results in a few days, but treatment should continue for at least 2 weeks to avoid a relapse. For candidiasis of the esophagus (gullet) the usual dose is 200 milligrams on the first day, followed by 100 milligrams once a day. A dose of 400 milligrams a day can also be taken if your infection is more severe. Treatment should continue for a minimum of 3 weeks and for at least 2 weeks after symptoms have stopped.
For systemic (bodywide) infections
Doses of up to 400 milligrams per day are sometimes prescribed.
For urinary infections and peritonitis
Doses range from 50 to 200 milligrams per day.
For cryptococcal meningitis
The usual dose is 400 milligrams on the first day, followed by 200 milligrams once a day. Treatment should continue for 10 to 12 weeks once tests of spinal fluid come back negative. For AIDS patients, a 200-milligram dose taken once a day is recommended to prevent relapse.
Prevention of candidiasis during bone marrow transplantation
The usual dose is 400 milligrams once a day.
If you have kidney disease, your doctor may have to reduce your dosage.
For throat infections
The usual dose for candidiasis of the mouth and throat is 6 milligrams for each 2.2 pounds of the child's weight on the first day, and 3 milligrams per 2.2 pounds once a day after that.
The duration of treatment is the same as that for adults.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of Diflucan overdose may include: