Using Diflucan (Fluconazole) to Treat and Prevent Fungal Infections
Diflucan fluconazole, an antifungal antibiotic, is a prescription drug for the treatment of infections due to fungi. It is frequently used to treat thrush or yeast infections (candidiasis), fungal skin infections and ringworm (tinea corporis), and fungal nail infections (onychomycosis). The drug is often prescribed when other antifungals don’t work or when the person cannot tolerate them because of adverse effects.
Fungi can infect different parts of the body, usually the mouth, genital area, the skin and the throat. They can also infect the lungs, bladder, and even the bloodstream. These harmful microorganisms are especially dangerous when the person has a weak or compromised immune system, such as when he is undergoing cancer treatment or bone marrow transplant, or when he is sick. People with AIDS are particularly susceptible because they have very weak immune systems.
Diflucan fluconazole is not only used for the treatment of fungal infections. The antifungal antibiotic is also used to prevent fungal infections. As preventive medicine (called prophylaxis in medical terminology), diflucan is mostly given to people who have a poorly functioning immune system.
Like most drugs, diflucan fluconazole has side effects. Its most common side effects
are difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or certain parts of the face including the mouth, and hives. When a person experiences these side effects, it is an indication that he may be allergic to diflucan. He should discontinue taking the antifungal antibiotic and get medical help right away.
Other common side effects are abdominal pain, fever (either low-grade or high), nausea, loss of appetite, jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and the skin, chills, body aches, skin rashes or skin peeling, convulsions, unusual weakness, bleeding or easy bruising, and clay-colored stool or dark urine. These are considered serious side effects, especially if two, three or more of them are experienced simultaneously. The person should seek immediate medical attention if he experiences these side effects.
Meanwhile, milder, less serious side effects from diflucan fluconazole that should not cause alarm include vomiting, diarrhea, mild nausea, headache, mild skin rashes or irritation, and an unusual taste in the mouth. These should be temporary and should not cause major inconvenience for the person taking the antifungal antibiotic.
Most people can safely take diflucan fluconazole, but those with diseases involving the liver, kidney or heart need to take extra precautions before taking the drug. They must inform their doctor of their medical condition, because the dosage will have to be adjusted for them, or the doctor might decide to prescribe an altogether different medication. The person must also inform the doctor if he is taking cisapride (Propulsid) or terfenadine (Seldane). These drugs do not interact well with diflucan, and should therefore not be taken concurrently with diflucan.
Diflucan is also not generally prescribed for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It may be harmful to the unborn baby, and it can pass into breastmilk and then be ingested by the nursing infant.
As a prescription drug, diflucan should only be taken when recommended by a qualified medical practitioner. The doctor’s instructions on how the drug should be taken, and how frequently and for how long, should be followed strictly.