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Brand name: Diflucan

Description: Fluconazole is an antifungal drug. It comes as a tablet and a liquid.

Dental uses: Dentists prescribe fluconazole for the treatment of yeast infections in the mouth. These are also known as oral candidiasis or thrush. Fluconazole also may be used when thrush affects the throat. It may be prescribed to people who have a high risk of developing yeast infections in the mouth in order to prevent these infections. People at high risk include those who are taking steroids or being treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy before a bone marrow transplant.

Dosages for dental purposes: Fluconazole is usually prescribed for thrush starting with 200 milligrams on the first day. This is followed by 100 milligrams per day for 14 days. Preventive dosing in at-risk patients varies.

As with all medicines, be sure to follow your doctor's prescription. Take fluconazole for the prescribed length of time, even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor. Stopping fluconazole may increase your chance of getting an infection that is resistant to antifungal medicines.

Concerns and possible side effects: Tell your dentist and physician about all the medicines you take. This should include over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let your dentist know if you have had a sensitive or allergic reaction to any medicine. If you are pregnant or nursing, or might be pregnant, talk to your primary care doctor before starting any new medicine. This also includes vitamins and supplements.

Fluconazole may cause side effects. They may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or seizures — Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how fluconazole affects you.
  • Skin rash
  • Changes in taste

Fluconazole may increase certain liver enzymes and lead to liver disease. It should be used with caution in people who have liver or kidney disease. Some people need to have blood tests while taking fluconazole to check for liver or kidney problems. Fluconazole should not be used by people who are known to be allergic to other antifungal drugs. The names of these drugs also end in "azole."

To avoid major drug interactions, tell your physician and dentists that you have taken fluconazole before you start to take any new medicine within 7 days of receiving fluconazole.

Fluconazole can increase the concentration of certain drugs in the body. These include:

  • The blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Cholesterol-lowering "statin" drugs, such as lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor) and others
  • Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax) and others

This list of drug interactions is not complete, and it continues to grow. These and many other potential drug-drug interactions can be serious. Tell your doctor about any reaction to a prescribed medicine, no matter how minor it might be.

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