Clotrimazole for candida, commonly known as thrush, is an effective topical treatment. In most countries it is available as a cream or in pessary form. It is known by different trade names in different countries, according to manufacturer. In some countries it is available as an over-the-counter product and, in others, is available by prescription only.
Candida is a fungal infection which is one of the most common causes of vaginitis, or infection of the vagina. The cause of vaginal candidiasis is often unknown but it is thought that a number of factors may increase a woman's susceptibility to the infection. These include the use of oral contraceptives, diabetes, antibiotic use and HIV. The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis may include itching, burning and a vaginal discharge. It should be remembered that numerous organisms may cause vaginitis, with similar symptoms, and each requiring a different treatment, so medical advice should be sought.
When using clotrimazole for candida it may be applied to the area as a cream or inserted into the vagina as cream or pessaries. In some cases the pessaries and cream are used in combination. It is usually used twice a day for three to seven days, depending on the severity of the fungal infection. The directions should be followed closely and completing the full course to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Clotrimazole is an antifungal medicine. When using clotrimazole for candida, it works by inhibiting ergosterol, an essential component of the fungal cell walls. This causes them to break down and allows essential components of the fungus to be released, essentially killing it. While the candida organism may be part of the normal flora of the vagina, if overgrowth occurs, for example when antibiotics are used, the result may be vaginitis.
In some cases thrush may be a recurrent problem. Many women buy clotrimazole for candida over-the-counter and self-treat themselves at home. If the infection recurs several times, the woman is pregnant, or the infection is accompanied by more severe symptoms such as bleeding, ulcers, abdominal pain, diarrhea or chills and fever, medical attention should be sought for proper diagnosis.
While using the pessaries or cream for an infection, unwanted side effects may occur, as with any medication. These are rare but discomfort and burning at the site of application have been reported by some people using clotrimazole for candida. Should these be severe, medical attention should be sought.