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Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Fluconazole is a type of medicine known as an antifungal. It is only available by prescription in the US to treat vaginal thrush; male sexual partners can also be treated for penile thrush. Fluconazole may also treat other fungal infections such as oral thrush, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.

Fluconazole is a single 150 mg tablet; Diflucan is a branded version.

Doctor’s advice

How do I take it?

For vaginal and penile thrush, you will usually require one tablet treatment of fluconazole. The tablet should be swallowed whole with water.

You can repeat the treatment course after 7 days if thrush symptoms return if recommended by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms have not improved after 7 days. Avoid having sex until symptoms have resolved to avoid passing thrush onto your partner.

How does it work?

Vaginal and penile thrush are fungal infections caused by a fungus called Candida. Fluconazole kills this fungus by disrupting the production of important components needed for its cell membrane. This leads to a relief in thrush symptoms.

Who should not take the medication?

Like all medications, don’t take them if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication, if you have severe kidney or liver problems, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new.

You should speak to your doctor before taking fluconazole if you are under 16 or over 60, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have previously had allergic reactions to other antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole.

Men should speak to their doctor before taking fluconazole if – their sexual partner is not suffering from thrush, if they are experiencing penile discharge, or have blisters or sores on their penis.

Women should speak to their doctor before taking fluconazole if they have lower abdominal pain, unusual or irregular vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, blisters or sores on their vagina or vulva, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills or an unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge.

Fluconazole can interact with a lot of medications, so if you take any prescription, over-the-counter or herbal medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist to check if they are safe to take alongside fluconazole.

Are there any side effects?

Common side effects can include headache, stomach ache, feeling sick, being sick, and diarrhea.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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