Diflucan is the brand name for the medication fluconazole. It can be used to treat several different types of fungal infections and is commonly used to treat yeast infections of the vagina, also called Candida vulvovaginitis.
Candida vulvovaginitis occurs when fungal microorganisms from the Candida family overgrow, leading to irritation, itching, and a burning sensation in the vaginal area. Diflucan acts by damaging Candidas cellular structure and inhibiting its ability to reproduce. Depending on the severity of the infection Diflucan can be prescribed as a single dose, as a series of doses taken every three days, or as a daily medication taken for ten to fourteen days.
For mild, uncomplicated, infections Diflucan is prescribed as a single 150 mg dose and an improvement in symptoms is usually seen within one to three days. If a single dose does not completely relieve symptoms, or the infection is severe, Diflucan can be prescribed as three consecutive doses given three days apart. With this regimen it's expected that symptoms should improve within one to two weeks. If symptoms continue despite appropriate treatment, Diflucan may be prescribed for every days use for ten to fourteen days, and even continued once per week for six months.
Candida and bacteria are a normal part of the vaginal environment. When the balance between bacteria and Candida is altered, either can overgrow. Conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, HIV, use of antibiotics, or use of oral contraceptive pills can disrupt this balance and lead to an overgrowth of Candida. Additionally, habits that trap heat and moisture in the vaginal area can allow overgrowth.
While Diflucan can be an extremely quick and effective way to control an overgrowth of vaginal Candida, several other habits can help prevent an overgrowth from occurring or recurring. Examples of these are:
Most women will develop a yeast infection at some point in their lives. If symptoms of Candida vulvovaginitis persist despite adequate treatment and avoidance of triggering activities, it is important to be evaluated for other potential causes or risk factors.