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Fungal Infections

Updated on February 10, 2011

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.



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    • tedcampbell2792 profile image

      tedcampbell2792 6 years ago from NY

      Thank you Angela! Wow, Run, that's pretty scary, yikes. Ramble on, it helps us all!!!

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

      I agree with AngelaKaelin! This really is good information. I think it's very important to be aware of the side effects a person faces when using perscription drugs.

      A friend of mine took an anti-fungal med for a nail fungus on one toe for a very long time. She had to have routine blood test to assure that her liver wasn't being adversely effected.

      It seemed like an extreme measure to me. But who am I to judge?

      But nail fungus infections can be cured by soaking the afflicted nail in a whole grain cornmeal and water combo. This is a very quick and effective treatment.

      Naturally this would not work with serious fungal infections like meningitis! And everyone should always talk to their health care provider before using home remedies. But sometimes things are much simpler than the pharma-medical industry would have us believe.

      OOPS! I seem to have started to ramble on here... Sorry!

    • AngelaKaelin profile image

      AngelaKaelin 6 years ago from New York

      Good information. I learned something!