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Antifungal medicine: choosing the best treatment

Antifungal medication is necessary to treat various fungal infections like Candidiasis, Athlete's foot, Aspergillosis, Jock itch, Onychomycosis etc., that usually affect hair, nails and skin. The time period of treatment depends on many factors, including the state of your immune system, the effectiveness of the chosen antifungal cream and other aspects. In order to get rid of the annoying and sometimes embarrassing symptoms you have to choose the right treatment methods.

Types of fungal infections

This kind of infections occurs when the immune system is not performing right. Usually fungus invade areas that have weak immune protection and cause various illnesses like Candidiasis. These are the most common fungal infections:

  • Athlete's foot or Tinea Pedis. It's associated with sports because fungus grows in moist and warm environment that are provided by socks and shoes. However, anyone can have this type of infection. You can use Clotrimazole cream to treat Tinea Pedis. If it is not effective, doctors recommend Ketonazole, Fluconazole, Itraconazole.
  • Tinea Cruris is commonly knows as jock itch. These fungi live in damp and warm areas of the groin, inner thighs and buttocks. In order to treat this type of tinea doctors prescribe Ketoconazole shampoo. Moderate cases can be treated with Clotrimazole cream. Severe jock itch is cured with washing with antifungal shampoo, applying topical cream like Clotrimazole and taking Fluconazole, Amphotericin or Itraconazole drug.
  • Ringworm is called Tinea Corporis. It can be found on the skin, nails or hair. Ringworm can be easily noticed because of its ring-shape. The outside of the patch may look bumpy, the inside part may remain clear. Ringworm can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or from contact with pets. It also can be found in mud or soil. In order to prevent Ringworm infection make sure to practice basic hygiene. Doctors often prescribe Clotrimazole cream, Terbinafine, Ketoconazole fungal cream treatment. Itraconazole medication are used to treat Ringworm too.
  • Candidiasis is an infection caused by Candida fungus. It's a kind of yeast that leaves in areas like belly or mouth and doesn't cause problems when the immune system works fine. However, when the environment is suitable it multiplies and causes Candidiasis. The candida may spread in throat or mouth, in these cases it's called thrush. This type of Candidiasis is likely to develop when people are being treated for cancer, take wide-spectrum antibiotics. Thrush can be effectively treated with Clotrimazole cream. Genital Candidiasis can affect both men and women. However, three in four adult women has experienced problems with vaginal Candidiasis. Imbalance in vagina caused by taking Estradiol, Ethinyl etc. might cause the development of the thrush. In order to treat Candidiasis doctors recommend Diflucan, Sporanox, Echinocandins, Pozaconazole, Flucytosine, Amphotericin. Invasive Candidiasis are the ones that enter the bloodstream and travel to heart, eyes, brain, bones. This kind is very dangerous and life-threatening. Invasive Candidiasis is treated with intravenous Amphotericin, Echinocandins, etc.
  • Aspergillosis affects the lungs. Allergic bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis is cured with following medicine: oral corticosteroids, Itraconazole. Aspergilloma is cured with Amphotericin, Acetylcysteine, Aminocaproic acid. Invasive Aspergillosis can be treated with Voriconazole, Posaconazole, Amphotericin B or Amphotericin B lipid formulations, Caspofungin. Chronic pulmonary Aspergillosis should be treated with special therapy that includes Itraconazole, Voriconazole, Amphotericin B, Caspofungin or Amphotericin B lipid formulations.
    • Antifungal medicine: principle of work and classification

      The main principle of work is damaging cell walls of the fungus that leads to fungal cells' death. Antifungal products come as various types, including cream, solutions, tablets, sprays, shampoos, injections etc. They can be classified this way:

      1. Topical antifungal

      This kind of medicine is prescribed for treating fungal infections on the scalp, skin or nails and includes antifungal cream, spray or liquid. The composition usually consists of ketoconazole, clotrimazole cream, econazole, amorolfine, miconazole, terbinafine and tioconazole. Topical antifungal medication might come in different brand names, like Nizoral or Ciclopirox gel.

      Some doctors prescribe combination of medications in case several actions are required. Antifungal cream might be used with mild steroid creams like Hydrocortisone.

      2. Antifungal drug taken by mouth

      There are a lot of medications that treat fungal infection and should be taken by mouth. Miconazole and Nystatin are available as oral gel and liquid that treat candidal infection of the throat or mouth. Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Voriconazole and Terbinafine are taken by mouth too, but they are available as antifungal tablets or capsules. They are absorbed into the body and are used for treatment of various types of infections. In order to treat nail fungus you can use Terbinafine, while Fluconazole is effective to cure vaginal thrush, or various fungal infections within the organism. Diflucan, Grifulvin, Griseofulvin and Sporanox Pulsepak are also should be taken by mouth.

      3. Antifungal shampoo

      The shampoo is effective to treat scalp fungus. It is prescribed for patients with certain skin conditions.

      4. Antifungal pessaries

      Pessaries are tablets that are used to cure vaginal thrush, they are designed to put inside the body. They include Clotrimazole cream, Miconazole, Econazole, Fenticonazole.

      5. Antifungal injections

      This kind of medicine is used when a patient has severe fungal infection within the body. Flucytozine, Voriconazole, Caspofungin, Amphotericin, Itraconazole, Anidafungin, Micafungin, Amphotericin may be used as injections. Echinocandins are a new class of antifungal drug, they are administrated by intravenous infusion. The choice of a drug depends on the type of fungus. Do not choose the medication by yourself – make sure that it is be prescribed by your doctor.

      Difference to antibiotics

      Please note that antifungal medication is different to antibiotic. Antibiotics are antibacterial, they can't kill fungi, only bacteria. Taking antibiotics in some cases might cause development of fungal infection. Women might develop thrush because of the antibiotics course that kills harmless bacteria that is normal for the body and doesn't allow fungi to flourish. For example, Azithromycin won't work if you use them in order to treat fungal infections.

      Side-effects of antifungal medicine

      As any other medication, antifungal treatment might cause side-effects. Make sure to contact your doctor if you experience any of them. Here are common side-effects:

      • Topical fungal cream, spray, shampoo or liquid in most cases don't provoke any unexpected reactions. However, some patients might feel a little itch, redness or burning at the area where the medicine was applied. In case when these side-effects are severe, please stop using these products. Sometimes women experience irritation around vagina while using vaginal fungal cream.
      • Commonly used antifungal tablets or capsules that are taken by mouth don't develop any side-effects. So Miconazole and Nystatin that are used for oral thrush, Fluconazole for vaginal thrush and Terbinafine for nail infections are generally considered as safe. Fluconazole can be even bought without any prescription because it doesn't cause problems. Sometimes antifungal tablets or capsules can be a cause of liver problems, but it is very rare. Terbinafine might cause stomach ache, nausea, diarrhea, headache, muscle pains. Fluconazole can be a cause of wind, rash, headache or nausea. Nystatin sometimes cause soreness in mouth. Miconazole can be a cause of vomiting or rash.
      • Injections have a bigger risk of side-effects. Sometimes they cause serious problems. To avoid them doctors will organize series of tests in order to see whether patient experiences any side-effects reactions to drug Posaconazole, that is necessary to cure Aspergillosis.
        • Prevent health problems

          In order to reduce the risk, make sure that you take care in public places. Candidiasis or any other infections are contagious. You can get it from the skin-to-skin contacts. If you use public shower, pools, locker rooms use flip flops, our own towels and combs. Unlike Leishmaniasis that is spread by leishmania sandfly, Candidiasis is contagious and can be transmitted by direct touch or unsafe sexual contacts.

          Keep your skin clean and dry. Don't share personal belongings or cosmetics like cream, lipstick, powder with other people, even if they are your friends. You don't want to get dangerous illnesses that are treated with Posaconazole, Flucytosine or Itraconazole.

          Store the drug safely

          The effectiveness of the medicine is based on several aspects, including the right storing. Generally, it's inappropriate to keep medicine products in places with high level of humidity, whether it's a cream or Itraconazole or Flucytosine. Sometimes a cream or capsules should be stored in certain temperature regime, it refers to Trioderm, Tolnaftate, Acetonide etc. So read the instruction carefully and follow its directions. Don't keep any drug in the children's reach, because even a cream can be dangerous to a child, not to mention products like Cyclosporine, Eschinocandins, Flucytosine, Posaconazole or Amphotericin.

          Make sure that the necessary medicine products are within your easy reach. You might need antidepressant Nortriptyline, arthritis pain killer Celecoxib, anti-seizure drug Phenytoin, allergy medicine Astemizole and Terfenadine, asthma medicine Theophylline at any time. It is appropriate to keep drug products in a bedroom or kitchen. Make sure that you have placed Itraconazole, Amphotericin, Clotrimazole cream, Eschinocandins, Flucytosine and Pozaconazole far enough from the sunlight rays and sources of high temperature.

          Contact your doctor

          Make sure that you inform a doctor before you start taking medicine or applying any cream. At the appointment describe all the symptoms that bother you. That might be some side-effects that are caused by medicaments like Flucytosine. Share details on what drug you take regularly. This information will help the doctor to see the whole medical picture of your organism.

          Do not share your drug with anyone else, even if he or she experiences the same problem like Candidiasis. Especially strong medicaments like Flucytosine. Everyone's bodies are different, so the cream or any other medicament might be ineffective or even cause health problems. While Clotrimazole cream can be bought without special prescription, discuss with a doctor the possible side-effects of using strong drug like Flucytosine or Pozaconazole. The second one is used to fight with a serious illness Aspergillosis. It can cause some side-effects so make sure that you are aware.

          Antifungal medication is a medicine, that will help you to get rid of the fungal infection such as Candidiasis, Trichophyton, Aspergillosis, Tinea Capitis, etc. Make sure that you consult your doctor before you take any strong fungicide treatment like Amphotericin, Flucytosine, Posaconazole, Echinocandins, etc. The right choice of fungal medicine is crucial for a successful result.

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