Yeast Infections

Apr 9, 2010

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

Have you heard Trevor on the radio? Listen to 730 CKDM Tuesday Mornings at 8:35 am! We now have most of the articles published in the Parkland Shopper on our Website

The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice. If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

I share a birthday with some important people, including: Queen Victoria, The Buddha, and Bob Dylan. So while I was listening to the Parklands Best Music, 730 CKDM in the Winnipegosis Clinic Pharmacy, I was happy to hear a song by one of my birthday mates. It was Signs. You known, And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply And then the announcer rocked my world. That wasnt a Dylan song. It was by the Five Man Electrical Band! And to top it all off, they are a Canadian band. The other game-changer I learned about in Winnipegosis that day was how over the counter yeast infection treatments had changed.

The new over-the-counter treatment for vaginal yeast infections is called CanesOral. It is a one time only oral capsule. It contains 150 mg of fluconazole. That medication used to only be available by prescription. Fluconazole is general considered a safe medication. After swallowing one pill of fluconazole150 mg, the patient should start feeling relief in a few days. Side effects are usually mild but could include: nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, headache or rash.

What is a vaginal yeast infection? A vaginal yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Yeast are tiny organisms that live in small numbers on the skin and inside the vagina. The inside of the vagina is usually too acidic for a lot of yeast cells to grow. But if the conditions change, yeast cells may begin to multiply. Things such as the menstrual period, pregnancy, diabetes, antibiotics and birth control pills can change the inside of the vagina so that yeast cells can grow more easily. Moisture and irritation of the vagina may also make it easy for yeast to grow.

What are the signs of a yeast infection? You may have: itching and burning, a white discharge that looks like cottage cheese or pain during sex. Vaginal yeast infections are very common. However, the symptoms are similar to other more serious conditions (e.g., some sexually transmitted diseases STDs), and some less serious conditions like bacterial infections. Your doctor can tell you if you have a yeast infection or not. Unfortunately, women have not been shown to be very good at self diagnosing vaginal yeast infections. A 2002 study of 95 women by Ferris showed only about 1/3 of the women correctly self diagnosed their vaginal yeast infections. Treating yourself for a yeast infection when you have another kind of infection wont help and can make the problem worse. So when should you see your doctor? If you still have symptoms seven days after the treatment or, if the symptoms get worse during treatment.

There are also a group of people who should always see their doctor before trying an over the counter treatment. See your doctor if: you are under 18 years old, you have never had a yeast infection before, you have diabetes, you are pregnant or if the symptoms seem different than your last yeast infection.

What is the treatment for a yeast infection? Well, over the counter we used to just have creams and tablets that were inserted inside the vagina. Now we also have the option of this one time only oral capsule you swallow. There is also the CanesOral combi-pak that has the oral pill, plus a cream for external itching.

Is it okay to have sex while using the treatment? No, sex is not recommended. Your partner could become infected. Also the yeast infection medication that is inserted into the vagina can decrease the effectiveness of spermicides, condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps. These birth control methods will not work as well during a treatment and for up to three days after.

I think it is great women have another convenient option for treating themselves for a yeast infection. However, remember that although the symptoms might feel the same, women can be wrong up to 2/3 of the time when self diagnosing a yeast infection. So if you have doubts, or if any yeast infection treatment doesnt clear the symptoms in seven days, see your doctor.

For your next yeast infection, try CanesOral. If you want to meet Bob Dylan, and the Five Man Electrical Band, I cant help you. However, if you want your blood sugar checked and learn more about Diabetes, come down to the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Thursday, April 8th from 10 am to 2 pm. We will have a nurse and our capable staff there for an informative Diabetes Clinic.

As always if you have any questions or concerns about these products, ask your pharmacist.


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