November 21, 2012
Other Names: Diflucan
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). Mucocutaneous candidiasis is a fungal infection that is caused by Candida yeasts and affects the skin and mucus membranes (such as in the mouth or vagina). Mucocutaneous candidiasis and cryptococcal meningitis are opportunistic infections. 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.
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."
The Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents, prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes recommendations on the HIV-related uses of fluconazole to:
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.
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.
More information about fluconazole is available: