Systemic Candida is a fungal infection that has spread through the body. In most cases, treating this type of infection involves taking oral antifungal medications. While all of the commonly used systemic Candida medications do the same thing—kill Candida, there are different types a doctor may prescribe. Among those most frequently prescribed are fluconazole, voriconazole, flucytosine, itraconazole, and caspofungin.
Candida is a category of fungus that is commonly responsible for causing localized infections such as yeast infections, thrush, and nail fungus. In most cases, the infection stays local. Sometimes, however, it spreads through the bloodstream and affects other parts of the body, including a patient's vital organs. This is most likely to occur in individuals who have weakened immune systems, but when it does develop, it may cause serious health problems. Typically, doctors prescribe oral or intravenous (IV) antifungal medications for the treatment of a systemic Candida infection.
One of the most common types of systemic Candida treatments is called fluconazole. This medication is known to be effective for dealing with systemic Candida infections, including those that have infected the central nervous system; some of the other treatments are not as effective for this purpose.
Unfortunately, some types of Candida may grow resistant to fluconazole. When this occurs, doctors often prescribe a medication call voriconazole for treating a systemic Candida infection. Voriconazole treatment is associated with a higher likelihood of side effects, however, and is usually reserved for only the most serious cases.
Itraconazole is another treatment commonly used for dealing with a systemic Candida infection. Under normal circumstances, this treatment is primarily used for dealing with infections of a person’s fingernails. It is also considered helpful for dealing with systemic infections that fail to respond to fluconazole, however.
Flucytosine is another medication that is effective for the treatment of systemic Candida infection. Doctors have found, however, that many strains of Candida become resistant to the drug over only a short period of time. For this reason, when doctors prescribe this medication for the treatment of systemic Candida infection, they often combine it with fluconazole or another type of drug to boost its effectiveness.
Serious or stubborn cases of systemic Candida infection are often treated with a drug called amphotericin-B. This fungicidal drug is usually effective against many different types of Candida. It must, however, be administered through an IV needle and is one of the most toxic drugs used to treat a systemic Candida infection.