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Treatment

Treatment of candidiasis varies, depending on the area affected:

  • Thrush Doctors treat thrush with topical, antifungal medications such as nystatin (Mycostatin and others) and clotrimazole. For mild cases, a liquid version of nystatin can be swished in the mouth and swallowed, or a clotrimazole lozenge can be dissolved in the mouth. For more severe cases, fluconazole (Diflucan) can be taken once a day by mouth.

  • Esophagitis Candida esophagitis is treated with an oral anti-fungal drug such as fluconazole.

  • Cutaneous candidiasis This skin infection can be effectively treated with a variety of antifungal powders and creams. The affected area must be kept clean and dry and protected from chafing.

  • Vaginal yeast infections Vaginal yeast infections can be treated with antifungal medications that are applied directly into the vagina as tablets, creams, ointments or suppositories. These include butoconazole (Femstat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat, Vagistat and others), nystatin (Mycostatin and others), and tioconazole (Monistat-1, Vagistat-1). A single dose of oral fluconazole can be used. Sex partners usually do not need to be treated.

  • Deep candidiasis This infection is usually treated with intravenous fluconazole. People with very low white blood cell counts may need an alternative intravenous anti-fungal drug, such as caspofungin or micafungin.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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