Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Fluconazole

Fluconazole is an antibiotic medication used for the treatment of fungal and yeast infections.

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Fluconazole is the active ingredient of Aspen Fluconazole, Austell-Fluconazole, Cipla-Fluconazole, Diflucan, Difluzole, Flucoric, Fluzol and Merck-Fluconazole.

General information

Fluconazole is an antibiotic medication used for the treatment of fungal and yeast infections that affect the mouth, vagina, nails and skin and that did not respond to conventional topical treatment. It is furthermore indicated in the treatment of systemic fungal infections. It is of particular use in the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis - a fungal infection of the membranes lining the central nervous system - in patients with Aids.

This medication is only effective in treating fungal infections and will not be effective in treating bacterial or viral infections.

Fluconazole can also be used to prevent fungal infections in patients with defective immunity.

How does fluconazole work?

Fluconazole inhibits the manufacturing of substances vital for fungal growth and functioning.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: fluconazole is available as capsules, suspension and as injection

What does it do? fluconazole has an anti-fungal action

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is fluconazole available as a generic? yes

Is fluconazole available on prescription only ? yes

User information

Onset of effect: the full effect of this medication may only be seen within a few days

Duration of action: up to 24 hours

Dietary advice: fluconazole can be taken with, or without food

Stopping this medicine : complete the full course as directed by your doctor; even if you feel better, symptoms may recur with premature discontinuation

Prolonged use: fluconazole is generally not used for prolonged periods of time; liver function tests may be periodically required

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: a reduced dose is needed when prescribed in infants and children.

The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly in case of impaired kidney function.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

abdominal discomfort

x

x

diarrhoea

x

x

nausea/ vomiting

x

x

headache

x

x

skin rash

x

x

jaundice

x

x

unusual bruising

x

x

fever

x

x

sore throat

x

x

difficulty breathing

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

benzodiazepines

increased risk of benzodiazepine toxicity

ciclosporin

increase risk of cyclosporin toxicity

cisapride

risk of heart rhythm disturbance

corticosteroids

risk of corticosteroid toxicity

oral contraceptives

possible reduced efficacy of contraceptives

rifampicin

reduced effect of fluconazole

sulphonylurea drugs such as tolbutamide, glibenclamide and glipizide

risk of severely low blood sugar levels

tacrolimus

risk of kidney toxicity

terfenadine

risk of heart rhythm disturbance

theophylline

possible toxic levels of theophylline

tricyclic antidepressants

risk of CNS toxicity

warfarin

risk of warfarin toxicity

zidovudine

risk of zidovudine toxicity

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have liver or kidney disease, or if you are allergic to any anti-fungal medication.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 50 - 400mg daily

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

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