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Candida Glabrata and Fluconazole

The Facts on Drug Resistant Candida Glabrata

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Fluconazole used for Candida glabrata infectionCandida glabrata, as you may already know, is one of the rarer species of Candida that actually affect the body.  In the past, this fungus was thought to be not harmful; however, with the advent of greater immune weaknesses, this fungus has clearly been seen to be pathogenic.  One of the common drugs used to treat Candida glabrata is fluconazole.  Yet, some women and men find that fluconazole doesn’t seem to rid them of their glabrata infection at all.  This could potentially be due to a fluconazole resistant strain of glabrata yeast.  Let’s explain what fluconazole is and then we will go on to talk about the various studies where glabrata yeast was shown to be resistant to fluconazole drugs.

What is Fluconazole Yeast Infection Treatment?

The first thing to know about fluconazole is it is an “azole” antifungal drug.  Azoles are themselves a type of molecule and the ones we are interested in are used to kill yeast.  Antifungal azoles are classified into two different groups: triazoles and imidazoles.  These drugs have an ability to kill a wide variety of fungi and are therefore known as broad-spectrum antifungals.  

Azole antifungals all essentially work the same way.  They hinder certain cellular functions in the yeast which causes yeast cells to be unable to maintain their cell wall.  Once the cell wall becomes too weak, the yeast simply dies.

A doctor who could prescribe fluconazole (Diflucan) for Candida glabrata yeast.

Fluconazole is in the class of triazoles (again this classification is due to certain molecular properties) and is used when treating systemic yeast infections more as it is more predictable in its absorption rate and is generally safer than other imidazole drugs.  Because fluconazole can kill yeast so well and it is one of the safest of the triazole drugs, it has been used extensively.

It is likely that the extensive use of fluconazole has been the predominant reason why there is so much wide spread resistance in fungi like Candida glabrata.  

Side Effects of Fluconazole Drugs

The brand name of a fluconazole yeast infection treatment which is widely known among yeast infection sufferers is Diflucan.  Diflucan is in itself just fluconazole.  There are severe side effects, that should be dealt with by a doctor, and other mild side effects to this drug.  These side effects are an excellent reason to use natural, safer treatments for Candida glabrata problems.

Mild Side Effects

  • Throwing up
  • General nausea
  • General stomach pains
  • Headaches
  • Feelings of vertigo
  • Loose stools / diarrhea
  • Food and drink taste different

Severe Side Effects

  • Severe birth defects and infant mortality (when taken while pregnant)
  • Severe allergic reactions can occur resulting in breathing problems, irritated skin, swelling of areas in the mouth, etc.
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach problems such as intense nausea and diarrhea
  • Muscle Cramping
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • and many other problems…

If you are pregnant you should definitely not take fluconazole.  There was one study that described the cases of three pregnant women who used fluconazole through or beyond the first trimester of pregnancy.  The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (Volume 22, Issue 2 p. 336-340) and describes what happened to these three babies.  All of the babies of these women suffered from congenital anomalies; i.e. birth defects.  Of the three babies, two children died.  There was no other drug or substance taken by these women which the researchers thought could have such an effect on the babies; the primary culprit was fluconazole in all three pregnant women.

Fluconazole Resistant Candida glabrata

In addition to being dangerous, fluconazole can also fail to kill certain strains of Candida glabrata that are resistant to this drug.  Here are some studies documenting the resistant strains.

One study is certainly of interest as it makes it probable that Candida glabrata in your system could turn into a fluconazole resistant strain via continued use of fluconazole.  Some glabrata yeast cells might not have all the genetic material necessary to be susceptible to fluconazole.  If this is the case, when you kill off the other susceptible glabrata yeast the resistant strains could start overgrowing and become predominant in your body.

The study was published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (February 2005 vol. 49 no. 2 p. 783-787) and details how fluconazole susceptible Candida glabrata became resistant in just 4 days.  The study found that Candida glabrata exposed to fluconazole for four days rapidly developed resistance to three azole antifungals: fluconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole.  The strains of Candida glabrata were taken and isolated in the years 1917, 1935, 1960, 1973, and 1975. This is before fluconazole became approved and widely used.  These strains are therefore very typical of the type of Candida glabrata that is attacking your body.

If you have been taking fluconazole for Candida glabrata for an extended period of time, it is possible that the glabrata yeast that was genetically predisposed to resist fluconazole has overgrown and is now infecting your body.  Consequently, you will fail to see results from perhaps many different azole antifungal drugs as a result.  Remember, two other azoles were also not able to stop Candida glabrata that had been exposed to fluconazole and transitioned to a resistant pathogen.  All it took was 2 to 4 days for this yeast to become resistant to these conventional prescription drugs.


In conclusion, the risks of side effects and the possibility for Candida glabrata to become resistant to Diflucan and other prescription drugs makes it less desireable.  It would probably be prudent to rely on a safer, more effective natural remedy to treat Candida glabrata.  You won’t have to worry about the side effects of a powerful drug, and you can be sure your yeast infection will be cured.

If you want to learn more about natural treatments for Candida then check out the homepage of this site for all the categories of information on this topic.  You should be able to get a plethora of sources to back up the information on this site and learn powerful ways to naturally get rid of Candida glabrata, albicans, or any other type that is ruining your life.


  • -- (How fluconazole works to kill Candida glabrata yeast and the popularity of fluconazole use) -- Antifungal Agents: Mode of Action, Mechanisms of Resistance, and Correlation of These Mechanisms with Bacterial Resistance. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. v.12(4); 1999 Oct.
  • -- 3 babies suffer immensly from fluconazole antifungal drugs -- Fluconazole-Induced Congenital Anomalies in Three Infants.  Clinical Infectious Diseases (Volume 22, Issue 2 p. 336-340)
  • -- Rapid Acquisition of Stable Azole Resistance by Candida glabrata Isolates Obtained before the Clinical Introduction of Fluconazole. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (February 2005 vol. 49 no. 2 p. 783-787)


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