Thinking about taking a fluconazole pill for yeast infections? Or, perhaps you already are taking one, or a similar azole pill. If you have spent time on Candida Hub, you will likely know there are a wide variety of natural alternatives that can be just as powerful; and even more powerful than prescription antifungals. Additionally, natural remedies can augment any synthetic drug you may be taking at the moment. Consequently, nature’s medicinal plants are a great alternative and addition to a treatment regimen; not to mention they are much safer to utilize.
So let’s talk first, about perhaps, the most important issue regarding fluconazole pills: the side effects. This information is especially important to understand if you are pregnant or think you will become pregnant.
Fluconazole Pill Side Effects
One study you may not have heard about found that fluconazole can very rarely be lethal to babies in their mother’s wombs. Even if the child does survive a fluconazole regimen, it can be scarred for life due to the physical anomalies, that this drug can cause. This should not be surprising as fluconazole has a history of causing teratism (an anomaly of organic form and structure) in animals.
The three women documented in this study received fluconazole through or beyond the first trimester of pregnancy. The women in the study could not be seen to be taking, or exposed to, any other substance which could cause such pregnancy complications. The researches concluded, that fluconazole was able to cause birth defects in children. They suggested all women, who might become pregnant, should be informed before taking this drug. Additionally, the researchers also speculated that all other azole drugs (miconazole is one of these, and the primary ingredient in Monistat) had the potential to cause birth defects as well. The study concludes by stating:
We conclude that fluconazole is teratogenic in humans and that related azoles are likely to be teratogenic in humans as well. Each woman of [childbearing] age given fluconazole or a related azole should be counseled about the possibility of birth defects and should be offered effective birth control methods.http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinids/22.2.336
This study of the three women and fluconazole was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases [(1996) 22 (2):336-340]. The recommended human dose will likely not cause birth defects, it is 4mg / kg of body weight. This research states the effect of oral fluconazole has been investigated in rats. In many of these studies, maternal weight gain was impaired and placental weights were elevated. At doses of 25mg / kg and 50mg / kg of body weight and higher, delays in fetal ossification (the natural process of bone formation), fetal anatomical distortion such as supernumerary (present in excess of the normal number) ribs, and dilation of the renal pelvis were noted; however, doses of 5mg / kg and 10mg / kg of body weight, for the rats, did not cause these anomalies. Below are two images of one of the children who suffered from use of this drug.
Another study does support the causal relationship between fluconazole and birth defects. The researchers do state that at very low dose, less than 150mg, this antifungal does appear to be safe during pregnancy. Higher doses are not recommended during pregnancy. According to the study:
There is evidence to suggest that fluconazole exhibits dose-dependent teratogenic [Any agent that can disturb the development of an embryo or fetus] effects; however, it appears to be safe at lower doses (150 mg/day). Ketoconazole, flucytosine, and griseofulvin have been shown to be teratogenic and/or embryotoxic in animals. Iodides have been associated with congenital goiter and should not be used during pregnancy.http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514977
Almost every study I looked at regarding fluconazole, showed that there was, in fact, a slightly increased rate of birth defects. For some reason many studies said it was not too statistically significant; however the Use of Oral Fluconazole during Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects study, published in the The New England Journal of Medicine [2013;369:830-9], found that the risk of tetralogy of Fallot was certainly significantly increased due to fluconazole: over 3 times increased. The study states:
A significantly increased risk of tetralogy of Fallot was observed (7 cases in fluconazole-exposed pregnancies [prevalence, 0.10%] as compared with 287 cases in unexposed pregnancies [prevalence, 0.03%]; adjusted prevalence odds ratio, 3.16; 95% CI, 1.49 to 6.71).http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1301066
There is little that can justify any increased risk to a child simply to get rid of a yeast infection with a prescription drug. There are safer alternatives out there. And, although many studies will seemingly overlook slight increases in birth abnormalities, even small increases are important to consider given a yeast infection is rarely life threatening. I think the researchers from the 1998 Clinical Infectious Diseases study were correct when they said “Careful consideration of the benefit to the mother and the risk to the fetus is required when prescribing antifungal therapy in pregnancy.”
Fluconazole and Children
Children were shown to develop a significant rate of adverse side effects when taking fluconazole. Mostly, these side effects were gastrointestinal related; i.e., diarrhea and vomiting. Of 382 children taking fluconazole, 45 developed side effects (about 12%). 7 of the children developed skin conditions due to this drug. 4 children developed either cardiovascular or central and peripheral nervous side effects. Other side effects were reported by the study as well. The children were administered in the range of 1 to 12 mg of fluconazole per kilogram of body weight. As a result, over 1 in 10 children who take fluconazole will probably develop some health malady as a result. This study was published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy [Aug. 1999, p. 1955–1960].
Common Fluconazole Pill Medication Side Effects
There are a wide variety of unwanted health problems, that can result at times, for individuals who take fluconazole. Here are some of the severe, and mild, side effects that you could experience when you take this drug. Some of these side effects may be dose dependant; and, could be more severe if higher doses are taken into the body.
Severe Side Effects
- Infant mortality (if taken during pregnancy)
- Birth defects (if taken during pregnancy)
- Extreme fatigue
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Unusual Blistering or peeling skin
Less Severe Side Effects
- Reduced or non-existent appetite
- Stomach pains
- Yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin
- Flu-like symptoms
- Unusually dark urine and pale stools
- Unusual itching
- Swelling of various body parts (typically found in the hands, feet, ankles, lower legs, face, throat, lips, tongue, or eyes)
- Inability to taste food
Naturally Treating Yeast Infections Safely
One woman you may want to know about is Sarah Summer. Summer suffered from a rare, deep seated yeast infection. The yeast actually turned into a mold and her vagina and had sent out tendrils into her body. Although severe, this may happen to women more than you think.
Summer tried to get help from her doctor and after exhausting a significant amount of time and money on various medical professionals, she still had not found an answer to her recurrent yeast infections. Instead of giving up she began to spend considerable time researching her condition and trying to find an answer to her situation. The story does have a happy ending fortunately; Summer used natural medicine to totally eliminate her yeast infection. Her method was so powerful that it gets rid of Candida in 12 hours time.
Sarah Summer publishes her book via the online publisher owned and operated by Keynetics Incorporated. Keynetics is a U.S. based firm and transactions can be done via PayPal. The book is a digital download so you can access it quickly by downloading it—if you decide it’s something for you. Summer wants to help people struggling with this condition and offers an 8 week money back guarantee on her book. If for any reason you find it unsatisfactory, you can get your money back immediately.
Sarah relates more of her story on her website and also offers her email address to answer any questions you might have about your yeast infection or her book. She always replies to serious questions; and, is a great help for women who have suffered with recurrent bouts of Candida infection.
Candida Hub has a wide variety of articles on common natural remedies used to treat yeast overgrowth. They can benefit both men and women. If you have the time, you can explore the other areas of this site and start building your knowledge about Candida and natural medicine. One article that may interest you talks specifically about fluconazole: Candida glabrata and fluconazole.
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- http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinids/22.2.336 — Fluconazole-Induced Congenital Anomalies in Three Infants. Clinical Infectious Diseases [(1996) 22 (2):336-340]
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514977 — Antifungal Therapy During Pregnancy. Clinical Infectious Diseases [(1998) 27 (5):1151-1160]
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1301066 — Use of Oral Fluconazole during Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects. The New England Journal of Medicine [2013;369:830-9]
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC89397/ — Safety and Tolerability of Fluconazole in Children. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Aug. 1999, p. 1955–1960)
- https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a690002.html — Medline Plus: Fluconazole. Side effects of fluconazole.