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In general, treatment for Candida includes taking antifungal medications, such as miconazole or clotrimazole. Some medications are prescribed by a healthcare provider, while others can be purchased over the counter. However, a proper diagnosis should be obtained to avoid self-misdiagnosis. Both three-day and seven-day treatment can be effective for Candida infections.
Candida treatment generally involves taking antifungal medicines, such as:
The medicines can be taken by mouth, applied directly to the affected area, or used vaginally.
Although these medicines usually work to cure the infection (80 percent to 90 percent success rate), infections that do not respond to treatment are becoming more common, especially in HIV-infected women receiving long-term antifungal therapy.
Women can buy antifungal creams to be applied directly to the area, tablets to be taken orally, or suppositories for use in the vagina. Because bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and Candida yeast infections are difficult to tell apart on the basis of symptoms alone, a woman with possible vaginal symptoms should see her healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis before using these products.
Both three-day and seven-day Candida treatment may be effective for Candida infections.
There are currently a number of over-the-counter Candida treatments available. As a result, more women are diagnosing and treating themselves for yeast infections. However, misdiagnosis is common. Studies have shown that as many as two-thirds of all Candida medicines sold are used by women without the disease.
Overuse of these antifungal medications can increase the chances that they will eventually not work (the fungus develops resistance to medications). Therefore, it is important to be sure of the diagnosis before beginning treatment with over-the-counter or other antifungal medications.
Women who have chronic or recurring yeast infections may need to treat their Candida with vaginal creams or oral medicines for longer periods of time.
HIV-infected women may have severe yeast infections that often do not respond to treatment.