Many people prefer to use one of the OTC yeast infection treatments instead of prescription medications.
Antifungal medications for vaginal yeast infections can be purchased without a prescription. An over-the-counter treatment will usually include an antifungal cream or suppository containing Miconazole, Tioconazole, Butoconazole, or Clotrimazole. The product may also include an anti-itch cream to help reduce discomfort until the infection has cleared up.
If you have chronic yeast infections and use Monistat or any other anti-fungal medication quite often, your resident population of yeast may adapt and become drug-resistant. If you notice that the medication is not working as effectively as it once did, you may need a prescription for something stronger. It’s also important to note that as many women misdiagnose their own symptoms as a yeast infection when it’s really a bacterial infection, which no anti-fungal medication can cure. This is easy to do, since the symptoms are so similar.
Monistat® is probably the most easily recognized brand. Other brands of antifungal medications for vaginal infections include:
- Femstat 3®
- Terazol 3® Vagistat-1®
OTC yeast infection treatmentsshould never be purchased or used in the following circumstances unless you’ve talked to your doctor first:
- If you have allergies to any anti-fungal medications, or if you have experienced allergies to foods, preservatives, or dyes.
- If you’re pregnant. It is not yet known if antifungal medications are safe during the first trimester. Even during the second and third trimesters, you should check with your doctor, because you may have a bacterial infection that needs immediate treatment with a prescription medication.
- While breast-feeding. The medications may be passed through the mother’s milk to the baby, although more studies are needed to know for sure. It’s always better to play it safe.
- Children under age 12. The OTC yeast infection treatments for vaginal infections have been studied only on adult patients, and their safety for children is not yet known.
- Older adults, for the same reason. No studies have been done to assess the safety of these medications in seniors.
- When using other medications. Interactions can occur, so you should talk to your doctor, and tell her which medications you are already taking.
OTC yeast infection treatments can be effective in the right circumstances, and your infection should clear up in a week or so – if it doesn’t, see your doctor.