Fluconazole

About fluconazole

Fluconazole is an antifungal medicine. It's used to treat infections caused by different kinds of fungus.

The most common cause of fungal infections is a yeast called candida.

Fluconazole is used to treat many infections caused by candida including:

Fluconazole is also used to treat a brain infection called cryptococcal meningitis. This is caused by a fungus called cryptococcus.

Fluconazole can also be used to prevent a fungal infection developing. It is only prescribed if you are likely to get this sort of infection. This includes people who:

Fluconazole is available as capsules or a liquid that you swallow.

It also comes as an injection, but this is usually given in hospital.

Fluconazole is usually prescribed for you by a doctor. You can also buy it from a pharmacy for vaginal thrush or balanitis.

Key facts

Who can and cannot take fluconazole

Most adults and children can take fluconazole. It can also be prescribed for babies.

Fluconazole is not suitable for everyone. Tell a pharmacist or your doctor before taking it if you have:

How and when to take fluconazone

Dosage for capsules or liquid

Follow the advice from your doctor. If you buy fluconazole in a pharmacy, follow the instructions that come with the medicine.

It's important to complete the course of medicine even if you feel better.

You can take fluconazole capsules and liquid with or without food.

Fluconazole capsules are either 50mg, 150mg or 200mg. Swallow the capsules whole with a drink of water. It is best to take your capsules at the same time each day.

The liquid usually comes in 2 different strengths:

Use the plastic spoon that comes with your medicine to measure your dose. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon, as this will not give you the right amount.

These are the usual doses for adults:

For children, your doctor will work out the right dose depending on the infection and your child's age and weight.

If you take your fluconazole once every 72 hours, or once a week, it may help to use a calendar and mark the days when you need to take it.

What if I forget to take a dose?

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just skip the missed dose and take your next one as normal.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.

What if I take too much?

Accidentally taking 1 or 2 extra doses is unlikely to harm you.

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist now if:

  • your child takes too much fluconazole
  • you take too much fluconazole and have side effects or feel unwell

Side effects

Common side effects

Like all medicines, fluconazole can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

These common side effects happen in more than 1 in 100 people.

Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist if these side effects bother you or do not go away:

Serious side effects

Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 100 people.

Call a doctor immediately if:

Serious allergic reaction

It happens rarely but it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to fluconazole.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in your chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.

These are not all the side effects of fluconazole. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicine packet.

You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.

How to cope with side effects

What to do about:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Fluconazole and pregnancy

Fluconazole is usually not recommended in pregnancy. Some studies have found that taking fluconazole in pregnancy can harm your baby.

If you have thrush, ask your GP or midwife for advice about treatments. Your doctor will probably prescribe clotrimazole or a similar antifungal medicine. This may be as a cream or as a soft tablet (a pessary) that you put into your vagina.

If the thrush does not go away, they may prescribe a single dose (150mg) of fluconazole. They will discuss the risks and benefits to you and your baby.

If the fungal infection is more serious, your doctor may recommend a higher dose of fluconazole, if it is the best treatment option. Talk to them about the risks and benefits to you and your baby.

Read more on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website about taking fluconazole to treat thrush (150mg tablet) or high dose fluconazole (400mg to 800mg a day).

Fluconazole and breastfeeding

If your doctor or health visitor says your baby is healthy, you can use fluconazole when you're breastfeeding. Breastfeeding will benefit you and your baby.

If you notice that your baby is not feeding as well as usual, or seems unusually sleepy, or if you have any other concerns about your baby, then talk to your health visitor or doctor.

Tell your doctor if you're:

  • trying to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

Cautions with other medicines

Mixing fluconazole with herbal remedies and supplements

Some medicines and fluconazole interfere with each other.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines before you start taking fluconazole:

These are not all the medicines that interfere with fluconazole. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.

There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements with fluconazole.

Important

Tell a pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines, vitamins or supplements.

Common questions

How does fluconazole work? How long does it take to work? What if it does not work? How long will I take it for? Is fluconazole safe to take for a long time? Are there other medicines for fungal infections? Will it affect my contraception? Will it affect my fertility? Can I drink alcohol with it? Is there any food or drink I need to avoid? Can I drive or ride a bike?