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Medications for Yeast Infections

Updated on February 21, 2016

Yeast Infection Treatments

If your yeast infection is sufficiently advanced (you are experiencing white discharge in addition to vaginal itchiness and redness), Natural Yeast Infection Treatments may not be enough to cure it and you need to seek out stronger anti-fungal medications. Below you will find a comprehensive list of yeast infection treatments and medications to help get rid of infection.


A common yeast infection medicine prescribed by doctors is the single dose of the antifungal medication, fluconazole. This mediation works by killing the fungus and preventing its growth. After taking the single dose, most yeast infections will go away within a few days.

If you are prone to recurring yeast infections, you may require a second dose 72 hours after the first. The side effects of fluconazole are mild and infrequent--the most commonly reported side effect is upset stomach.

Anti-fungal Creams

Oftentimes the treatment for yeast infections will be an anti-fungal cream. These creams are intended to give immediate relief from itching and burning, and some include a steroid to ease severe inflammation.

Most yeast infection creams include an applicator so that you can insert them directly into the vagina. There are also a few that should be used topically--around the opening of the vagina and surrounding tissue--in order to relive itching. Both types of yeast infection cream come as a one-time application or a three-day regimen, and can usually clear a yeast infection within a few days. Anti-fungal creams are available via prescription and over-the-counter.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a potent fungicide that is widely used to preserve foods, but also works to stop the growth of yeast. Potassium sorbate is a potassium salt of sorbic acid which kills yeast fungi by starving them.

To use, first make a 3% solution by adding 8 grams of potassium sorbate to a cup of water and mix well. Next, dip a tampon (still in its applicator) in the solution, and insert the tampon into your vagina as you would normally. Continue this treatment for a 3 days or until the symptoms are gone.

You can find potassium sorbate in natural food stores, online, and at places that sell home-brewing supplies.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is an odorless powder that has long been used as a very effective treatment for vaginal infections. It has been reported that boric acid is effective in curing up to 98% of patients who have previously failed to respond to other anti-fungal agents. Boric acid contains mild antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. While it is used in various prescription pharmaceutical products, it is also available without a prescription.

Its most common use is as a suppository--capsules are filled with boric acid and then placed into the vagina where the capsules dissolve and the boric acid is released. Studies have shown that 600 mg of vaginal boric acid suppositories provide symptomatic relief in just 24 hours. If you want to completely wipe out the infection, continue using the same dosage daily for 10 days. Boric acid suppositories are safe enough to be used twice weekly as a preventative measure as well. Just be sure never to ingest boric acid as it can be toxic.

Gentian Violet Flowers
Gentian Violet Flowers

Gentian Violet

Gentian Violet is a popular yeast infection treatment due to its antiseptic qualities. It works by preventing yeast from sticking to the vaginal tissue, and causes it to be passed out of the vagina.

You can use the liquid solution and apply it to the vulva and inside the vagina once or twice a day. There are also gentian violet tampons you can use, which are designed to be placed directly inside the vagina and left inside for 3-4 hours. While treatment varies between patients the standard dose is 1-2 tampons a day for 12 days. You should not use treatments with concentrations of gentian violet greater than 1% as it can irritate the vaginal tissue. Also keep in mind that gentian violet is a dye and can cause staining of the skin and clothes (and everything it touches) so use it with caution. When using, wear dark clothes and use a sanitary napkin to protect your clothes from being dyed.

Final Thoughts

If you think you have a yeast infection, it is important that you visit your doctor for examination. Do not begin yeast infection treatments until you get a diagnosis. In one study only 11% of women accurately diagnosed their infection, which can lead to wasted money on over-the-counter medicines.


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