Fluconazole Side Effects
Fluconazole is a medication prescribed to treat fungal infections. It is usually taken for one day or several days, depending on the physician's assessment of the severity of the infection. This medication can interact and impair the absorption of other prescription medications and should be taken under the guidance of a physician.
What is this medication used for?
Fluconazole treats fungal infections including those resulting from meningitis. In addition, fluconazole is used to prevent fungal infections in people who are receiving chemotherapy and are immunocompromised and in other individuals who have compromised immune systems. Fluconazole works by reducing the growth of fungus that can lead to inflammation and infection.
Side effects that can occur when using this medication
Fluconazole can cause symptoms of a severe allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. A condition known as anaphylaxis, in which the throat and bronchial tract can swell, is an emergent medical problem; the patient should seek assistance immediately. Anaphylaxis is generally preceded by signs of a severe allergic reaction including hives, redness and swelling of the skin and problems breathing. If an individual has had previous allergic reactions to medications such as ketoconazole, he should avoid taking this product.
Fluconazole can also cause severe skin reactions in some individuals, independent of an allergy. Regardless of cause, if the patient experiences any skin reactions, he should contact his doctor immediately.
Taking fluconazole may cause a heart rhythm disturbance known as QT prolongation. Symptoms of QT prolongation include heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fainting.
Should I use this medication to treat my fungus infection?
If the individual is already taking another anti-fungal medication, she should speak with her doctor first, as this can cause a serious interaction and can increase the severity of any side effects. Those taking cisapride or terfenadine should not take fluconazole because it can cause heart problems, according to PDR Health.
This medication can also cause fungi such as thrush to become resistant. This is especially a risk for people who are immunocompromised or who take fluconazole but miss several doses sporadically.
Patients with liver disease should talk to their doctors before using fluconazole, as it can cause additional liver damage.
How often do I take this medication?
Fluconazole is available in both liquid and pill form and is generally taken once daily. The dosage prescribed is based on the condition the medication is treating. Physicians may also adjust dosage based on a patient's health profile and history.
Warnings about this medication
Other potential side effects of fluconazole that have been reported include changes in cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood, seizures, urinary incontinence and changes in mood. Very rarely, individuals taking this medication have reported hallucinations and other significant psychological changes. If the patient experiences any of these symptoms, he should stop taking this medication and seek medical help immediately.
- PubMed Health: Fluconazole [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000890]
- MayoClinic.com: Fluconazole (Oral Route) [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602569]
- PDR Health: Diflucan [http://www.pdrhealth.com/drugs/rx/rx-mono.aspx?contentFileName=Dif1135.html&contentName=Diflucan&contentId=]
- European Journal of Medicine: Non-cardiac QTc-prolonging drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death[http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/19/2007.full]
- The AIDS InfoNet: Fluconazole (Diflucan) [http://www.aidsinfonet.org/fact_sheets/view/534]