An Overview of Diflucan (Fluconazole)
April 21, 2017
Drug Class: Opportunistic Infections and Coinfections
What Is Fluconazole?
Fluconazole is an antifungal prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of esophageal candidiasis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, vaginal candidiasis, and cryptococcal meningitis. It is also approved to decrease the chance of candidiasis in people undergoing bone marrow transplantation who receive cytotoxic chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Esophageal candidiasis (Infection of the esophagus), oropharyngeal candidiasis (infection of part of the throat), and vaginal candidiasis (infection of the vagina) are all examples of mucocutaneous candidiasis (also called mucosal candidiasis). Cryptococcal meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. Mucocutaneous candidiasis and cryptococcal meningitis are opportunistic infections of HIV. An opportunistic infection is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems -- such as those infected with HIV -- than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about opportunistic infections, read the AIDSinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.
Fluconazole can also be used off-label to prevent and treat other opportunistic infections of HIV infection. Off-label use refers to use of an FDA-approved medicine in a manner different from that described on the medicine label. Good medical practice and the best interests of a patient sometimes require that a medicine be used off-label.
How Is Fluconazole Used in People With HIV?
The Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA-HIVMA), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of fluconazole to:
The above list may not include all of the HIV-related uses of fluconazole recommended in the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Some recommended uses, such as uses in certain rare circumstances, may have been omitted.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Fluconazole?
Before taking fluconazole, tell your health care provider:
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from fluconazole. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.
How Should I Take Fluconazole?
Take fluconazole according to your health care provider's instructions. Your health care provider will tell you how much fluconazole to take and when to take it. Before you start fluconazole and each time you get a refill, read any printed information that comes with your medicine.
How Should Fluconazole Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Fluconazole?
More information about fluconazole is available:
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.