Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Fluconazole is primarily prescribed for the treatment of hepatosplenic candidiasis and other Candida infections, cryptococcal infections and secondary prophylaxis for cryptococcal meningitis in persons with AIDS. It is also used as antifungal prophylaxis in allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipients.

Fluconazole is indicated for oral or vaginal candidiasis unresponsive to nystatin or clotrimazole; nonlife-threatening Candida infections (eg, cystitis, esophagitis); treatment of hepatosplenic candidiasis and other Candida infections in persons unable to tolerate amphotericin B.

It is also prescribed for the treatment of cryptococcal infections; secondary prophylaxis for cryptococcal meningitis in persons with AIDS; antifungal prophylaxis in allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipients.

This medicine belongs to the class of triazole antifungal. Fluconazole is effectively used in the treatment of meningitis. It affects the membranes in the brain and spinal cord. This drug treats fungal infections like yeast infections in the mouth, throat, food pipe, lungs, vagina, etc.

It works by decreasing the production of ergosterol, which inhibits cell membrane formation in fungi. This drug is also preferred as a preventive medication in patients susceptible to fungal infections while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy before bone marrow transplantation.

Some serious side effects that may occur and need immediate medical attention are:

  • Yellowing of the skin, dark urine, light-coloured stool and itchiness of the skin, indicating liver damage
  • Severe rash or peeling of the skin in patients suffering from cancer or AIDS
  • Irregular or fast heart rate, palpitations, seizures or fainting, indicating Torsades de Pointes (a condition of abnormal rhythm of the heart which may cause a sudden cardiac arrest)

Symptoms of overdose include decreased lacrimation, salivation, respiration and motility, urinary incontinence, cyanosis. Treatment includes supportive measures, a 3-hour hemodialysis will remove 50%.

Take as directed, around-the-clock. Take full course of medication as ordered. Follow good hygiene measures to prevent reinfection. Frequent blood tests may be required. Maintain adequate hydration (2-3 L/day of fluids unless instructed to restrict fluid intake).

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Internal Medicine Specialist before using this medicine.

This drug is primarily used for the following conditions

  • Oropharyngeal Candidiasis

  • Vaginal Candidiasis

  • Fungal Infections (Tinea Strains)

  • Cryptococcal Meningitis

  • Coccidioidomycosis

  • Hypersensitivity

Side effects of this drug are as follows

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The action of this drug in the body lasts for up to 30 hours after administration.

  • What is the onset of action?

    This drug starts its action within a couple of hours after oral use.

  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This drug is extremely unsafe to be used during pregnancy. Studies carried out on humans and animals have shown significant adverse effects on the fetus. Doctor consultation is recommended in such cases.
  • Is it habit forming?

    It does not have addictive tendencies.

  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    The drug should not be consumed by breastfeeding mothers as there is a higher risk of side-effects on the infant. You are suggested to consult your doctor to discuss the potential benefits and risks before taking this medicine.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Dose adjustment is needed in patients with renal impairment. Consult your doctor before taking Fluconazole. Dosing adjustment/interval in renal impairment:
    • No adjustment for vaginal candidiasis single-dose therapy.
    • For multiple dosing, administer usual load then adjust daily doses.
    • Clcr 11-50 mL/minute: Administer 50% of recommended dose or administer every 48 hours.
    • Hemodialysis: One dose after each dialysis.
    • Continuous arteriovenous or venovenous hemodiafiltration (CAVH) effects: Dose as for Clcr 10-50 mL/minute.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    No relevant information available. Consult your doctor before taking Fluconazole.
  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    Caution is advised in consuming alcohol, if you are taking this medicine. Please consult your doctor.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    This medicine causes side effects that affect the alertness of the patients. Thus it influences the driving ability of the patient.
  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    Missed dose of this medication may be taken later unless it is already time for the next dose.

  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Fluconazole as ingredient

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This medication works by decreasing ergosterol production by disrupting the activity of cytochrome P450, inhibiting the formation of the cell membrane of susceptible fungi like Candida and Microsporum.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Alcohol

    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Keep monitoring periodic liver function tests (AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase) and renal function tests, potassium. As these might drastically be affected by the action of the Fluconazole.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    • Increased effect/toxicity:
      • Coadministration with terfenadine or cisapride is contraindicated; use with caution with astemizole due to increased risk of significant cardiotoxicity.
      • Hydrochlorothiazide may decrease fluconazole clearance.
      • Fluconazole may also inhibit warfarin, phenytoin, cyclosporine, and theophylline, zidovudine, sulfonylureas, rifabutin, and warfarin clearance.
      • Nephrotoxicity of tacrolimus may be increased.
    • Should be used with caution in patients receiving cisapride or astemizole.
  • Interaction with Disease

    Should be used with caution in patients with renal and hepatic dysfunction or previous hepatotoxicity from other azole derivatives. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during fluconazole therapy should be monitored closely and discontinued if symptoms consistent with liver disease develop.
  • Interaction with Food

    No data reported

Ques: What is Fluconazole?

Ans: This drug decreases ergosterol production by disrupting the activity of cytochrome P450, inhibiting the formation of the cell membrane of susceptible fungi like Candida and Microsporum.

Ques: How long do I need to use Fluconazole before I see improvement in my condition?

Ans: This medication should be consumed, until the complete eradication of the disease. Thus it is advised to use, till the time directed by your doctor. Also taking this medication longer than it was prescribed, can cause an inadequate effect on the patient's condition.

Ques: At what frequency do I need to use Fluconazole?

Ans: The duration of effect for this medicine is dependent on the severity of the patient’s condition. Therefore the frequency of usage of this medication will vary from person to person. It is advised to follow the proper prescription of the doctor, directed according to the patient's condition.

Ques: Should I use Fluconazole empty stomach, before food or after food?

Ans: This medication is advised to be consumed orally. The salts involved in this medication react properly if it is taken after having food. If you take it on an empty stomach, it might upset the stomach. Please consult the doctor before using it.

Ques: What are the instructions for the storage and disposal of Fluconazole?

Ans: This medication contains salts which are suitable to store only at room temperature, as keeping this medication above or below that, can cause an inadequate effect. Protect it from moisture and light. Keep this medication away from the reach of children.

Ques: Can Fluconazole be taken with oral contraceptives (OCPs) or birth control pills?

Ans: Fluconazole may interact with oral contraceptives having ingredients like estradiol. Hence, consult a doctor before taking them together.

Ques: I feel better now, can I stop taking Fluconazole?

Ans: It is important to finish the course of treatment, hence one must not stop taking this drug if they start feeling better. If you stop taking it without any doctor consultation, then it may severely affect your medical condition.

Ques: Is Fluconazole safe to be used in pregnancy?

Ans: This drug is not suitable for pregnant women as it can harm the baby. Consult a doctor and use some other alternative to this drug.

Ques: Can Fluconazole cause hair loss?

Ans: Hair loss is a very unusual side effect of this medicine. If you encounter this symptom, then doctor consultation is suggested.

Ques: Is Fluconazole fungistatic or fungicidal?

Ans: Fluconazole is a fungistatic medication and helps in inhibiting the growth or bacteria. It also functions as a fungicidal (kills fungus) medicine against some specific organisms.

Ques: Is Fluconazole over the counter (OTC)?

Ans: No, this medication is not available as an over the counter (OTC) drug. You must only take it if this medicine is prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Ques: What if I forget to take a dose of Fluconazole?

Ans: Take the missed dose as soon as possible, however, skip the missed dose if it is almost the time for the next dose.

Ques: Is Fluconazole effective?

Ans: It is an effective medication, however, you must consume it in dose and duration suggested by a medical expert.

Ques: Does Fluconazole treat bacterial vaginosis?

Ans: This drug is not helpful against bacterial vaginosis. If you are suffering from bacterial vaginosis, do not take this drug, rather talk to a doctor to start a treatment.

Ques: Does Fluconazole make you feel tired?

Ans: Tiredness is a common side effect reported after consumption of this medicine. You may want to take rest after consuming this medicine.

Ques: Is Fluconazole a steroid?

Ans: This medicine is not a steroid, in fact it is an antifungal drug.

Ques: Can I take Fluconazole for yeast infection?

Ans: This medication can be taken for a yeast infection. Please consult a doctor before taking it.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MBBS
General Physician
Table of Content
About Fluconazole
What are the uses of Fluconazole
What are the contraindications of Fluconazole ?
What are the side effects of Fluconazole ?
Key highlights of Fluconazole
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Fluconazole approved?
Medicines containing Fluconazole
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Fluconazole ?
FAQs about Fluconazole