Vaginal Yeast Infections - Medications
Antifungal medicines are the standard
treatment for a
vaginal yeast infection. You can insert a cream or
suppository antifungal cream into your vagina or take a pill by mouth. Vaginal boric acid capsules are sometimes used.
Antifungal medicines that you take as a pill by mouth affect the entire body
(so it can also treat any yeast infection elsewhere in the body). Vaginal
medicine only affects the area in which it is applied.
If you are thinking about using nonprescription treatment,
- Vaginal Yeast Infection: Should I Treat It Myself?
What to think about
Antifungal creams and
suppositories that you put into your vagina have fewer
side effects than antifungal pills you take by mouth. This is because vaginal
medicine isn't absorbed into your body and only affects the genital area.
Antifungal pills that are taken by mouth affect your entire body. Side effects
from these pills are rare with one treatment dose. Side effects can include nausea,
headaches, and belly pain. But taking a pill is convenient and is not
messy. Medicine put into the vagina can be uncomfortable. And it may seem like
more of a hassle than taking a pill.
The oil in antifungal creams or suppositories can weaken latex. This means condoms and diaphragms may break, and you may not be protected from STI or pregnancy.
If you are taking the anticoagulant medicine warfarin and you use a
vaginal yeast-fighting medicine, you may have
increased bruising and abnormal bleeding. Talk with your doctor before using an
antifungal medicine along with warfarin.
You are more likely to
use a treatment correctly and complete the treatment if you get to choose the
type you prefer. Talk with your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages
of vaginal and oral medicines, including:
- How a medicine can be administered. Most of
the vaginal treatments are available as creams, vaginal tablets, or
- Whether oral or vaginal medicine is recommended.
You may prefer to take pills rather than use medicine that is inserted into the
vagina. Or the type of yeast infection you have may respond better to one
method than to the other.
- Whether you should avoid sexual intercourse
if you are using vaginal medicine. Some doctors advise that women avoid sex
- Whether treatment should be continued during
your menstrual period. Tampons can absorb medicine, so use pads if you are
being treated with vaginal medicines during your period.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist to
see whether you can get a generic form of a prescription medicine. Many generic
medicines are now available to treat vaginal yeast infections. They are often
less expensive than brand-name medicines.