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Terconazole is an antifungal medication used primarily for treatment of vaginal yeast infections involving Candida yeasts. This medication is available by prescription only and is available in three and seven day courses. If a patient does not respond to terconazole, further evaluation may be needed to determine whether a patient has an underlying medical condition like bacterial vaginosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
The medication is provided in the form of a cream packaged with an applicator or a suppository. Patients should avoid ingesting the medication or handling it, and after applying it, it is advisable to wash the hands thoroughly, both to remove any traces of terconazole and to reduce the risk of passing the yeast infection to another person. The patient applies the medication once a day and should continue using it through menstrual periods. If patients experience problems with leakage and staining while using terconazole, they can wear pads or underwear liners to avoid damaging their underwear. The medication works by inhibiting the growth of yeast, putting a halt to the colonization of the patient's vagina.
If the patient has a simple Candida infection, the burning, irritation, itching, and pain associated with the yeast infection should resolve. Patients may experience side effects like headaches, mild fever, and a burning sensation while on the medication. If these side effects grow worse or are accompanied with abdominal cramping, chills, foul smelling vaginal discharges, and flu-like symptoms, the patient should contact the doctor. These symptoms can suggest the patient's problem is caused by something other than a yeast infection and additional diagnostic testing is needed.
Allergic reactions to terconazole are unusual, but they can occur. Patients should stop using the medication and call a doctor if they experience allergy symptoms like hives, rash, extreme pain, or marked redness. Other medications are available for the treatment of yeast infections and the patient can make sure the response is noted in her chart for future reference.
While taking terconazole, patients still have active yeast infections and can pass yeast on to partners. Barrier methods should be used during sexual activity to limit the risk of infections and to avoid reinfections, where someone infects a partner while in treatment and is infected again once the treatment is over. People should always see a doctor for treatment of a yeast infection, as symptoms of other conditions can look like a yeast infection initially and it is important to receive an appropriate diagnosis.