Are Over the Counter Yeast Infection Treatment Effective?

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Vaginal yeast infections – an overproduction of the candida fungus leading to an infection- are pretty common. Some of the symptoms of a vaginal infection include itching and burning around the vagina, irregular and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and irregular urination. This infection is easily cured. There are effective over the counter yeast infection treatment. This article discusses over the counter yeast infection treatment, interactions, side effects and more.

What is a vaginal yeast infection?

Candida albicans, a regular vaginal flora, typically cause this infection. Candidiasis occurs when these organisms are overpopulated, leading to discomfort.

Some of the risk factors of this infection include increased estrogen levels, weakened immune systems, antibiotics, and diabetes.

A vaginal yeast infection is also called vaginal candidiasis and is a fungal infection that causes irregular discharge, irritation, and severe vaginal itchiness and irritation of the vulva.

This infection is one of the most reported in the world. 3 out of 4 women typically experience this infection at some point in their lifetimes. Some women may get this infection multiple times.

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Over the counter yeast infection treatment

You can easily treat vagina candidiasis with the proper medications. You can purchase over-the-counter yeast infection medication with or without a prescription.

OTC medications for vaginal candidiasis can come as oral tablets, ointments, suppositories, antifungal creams, or medicated tampons.

You must ensure to get correctly diagnosed by your doctor before using OTC medications for vaginal candidiasis, especially if you’ve not been infected before.

This is because vaginal candidiasis symptoms are similar to other vaginal infections’ symptoms, like trichomoniasis and BV.

How to get rid of vaginal candidiasis quickly

Treating yeast infections can be done in various ways, including using antifungal creams, treated tampons, oral tablets, or vaginal suppositories.

Typically, these options are effective against candidiasis, and you should see a noticeable improvement in your symptoms a couple of days after using them.

If you suspect you have vaginal candidiasis, the fastest way to get rid of the yeast infection symptoms is to visit your professional healthcare provider.

After examining your symptoms and samples, they will likely recommend oral treatment like fluconazole. This treatment option may take up to 7 days to eliminate the infection.

Over the counter yeast infection treatment

As mentioned earlier, there are effective medications for vaginal yeast infections that can be bought over the counter with or without a prescription.

Depending on their medical preferences and history, patients can choose to go for the ointment, oral, suppository, or tampon options.

Antifungal creams

Depending on the severity of your candidal infection, your doctor may prescribe antifungal creams for your treatment.

These creams are usually packaged and sold with an applicator to help you apply the right amount as prescribed.

You can get antifungal creams over the counter without a prescription, and they’re typically applied inside the vagina. You can purchase this medication at a local pharmacy or convenience store.

Vaginal candidiasis medications usually consist of similar ingredients for their effectiveness, but they can have varying degrees of concentration.

Using antifungal ointments

Some medicines come with 1-day strength, while some have a 3-7-day window of action and performance. Some popular antifungal creams that don’t require prescriptions include the following:

  • Miconazole (Micatin and Monistat)
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin and Mycelex)
  • Tioconazole (Vagistat-1)

Alternatively, you would require a prescription to get Butoconazole (Gynazole-1) or Terconazole (Terazol) over the counter.

Warnings to note

Ensure you read the directions on the packaging of the medication carefully for your safety. Antifungal vaginal creams can be messy and leak out during the day, so it’s advisable to use them before bedtime, depending on the severity of your infection.

Yeast infection suppositories

You can cure your yeast infection using vaginal tablets or boric acid suppositories. Vaginal suppositories are tablets that are put into the vaginal, where they dissolve to eliminate infectious organisms.

They’re also known as ovules because of their typically oval shape, and they come packaged with a plastic applicator to help you insert them correctly.

Benefits of using suppositories

Suppositories are pretty advantageous because they’re not as messy as antifungal creams and are less likely to drip out of the vagina during the day.

In addition, suppositories are meant to be used for a few days, so you’ll likely get relief from your symptoms faster than with creams.

You must consult your doctor before using these treatments to ensure your symptoms are actually from a yeast infection. Using the wrong medication to treat an infection can cause your symptoms to become more severe and uncomfortable.

Furthermore, completing your dosage as your doctor recommends is crucial, even if your symptoms abate and you feel better.

This is to ensure that the infectious organisms are adequately eliminated and balance restored to your vagina floral, avoiding recurrent infection.

You should also inform your doctor of any medication you use before using antifungal medication to prevent unwanted interactions.

Yeast infection tablets

Vaginal candidiasis medications come in different forms, including a tablet form to be taken orally.

If you suspect a yeast infection, inform your doctor for further action. After considering the severity of your symptoms and sample, your doctor may recommend prescription yeast infection pills for your treatment.

For instance, some doctors may recommend taking ibrexafungerp (Brexafemme) twice in one day. This medication explicitly targets the fungal organisms causing the infection.

Fluconazole tablets for vaginal candidiasis

Your doctor may also recommend using fluconazole for a week (7 days)- every 3 days to treat vaginal yeast overgrowth. You’ll use the medication on days 1, 4, and 7 for the best action and infection elimination.

If you’re struggling with recurrent yeast infections, your doctor may recommend using this medication weekly for 6 months. Side effects of fluconazole include diarrhea, stomach upset, or headaches for a short period.

In addition, healthcare professionals may recommend antifungal oteseconazole (Vivjoa) to treat yeast infections in women who are unable to get pregnant because of infertility or menopause.

It is crucial to avoid these medications if you’re pregnant. You may also need to avoid hormonal birth control pills to prevent yeast infections.

Disadvantages of over the counter medications for vaginal candidiasis

There are numerous advantages to using over-the-counter treatments for vaginal candidiasis. However, like every medication, some side effects may occur when using any treatment option, even when they’re effective.


Irritation is one of the most common side effects of OTC medications for yeast infections. For instance, antifungal creams can leak and drip down the vagina during the day, making an irritable mess. Topical creams can also cause vaginal or vulva swelling or soreness.

In addition, oil-based antifungal creams can damage condoms and diaphragms for sexually active women.

Your healthcare expert will likely advise you to avoid sex if you’re using an antifungal ointment for your infection.

This can increase the risks of unwanted pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted disease or urinary tract infection.

Misdiagnosis and yeast infection resistance

Another disadvantage of over the counter treatment options for vaginal candidiasis is the likelihood of a different vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.

To avoid this, you must let your doctors know the extent of your symptoms so they can correctly diagnose you. Treating other vaginal infections with antifungal creams can create resistance to yeast infection treatment, making future infections challenging to cure.

Furthermore, oral tablets like fluconazole may come with side effects like headaches, stomach upset, and diarrhea.

However, these side effects only occur for a short period.

When to see a doctor for vaginal candidiasis

Vaginal candidiasis is a pretty common infection. 3 out of 4 women are expected to experience this infection at some point.

If you suspect you have a candidal infection, inform your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will consider your symptoms and may require a fluid sample for appropriate diagnosis.

Consult your healthcare expert if you have any questions or confusion about your medications and how to use them.

In addition, you should inform your doctor if your symptoms don’t ease after using your medication as recommended.

Women with recurrent vaginal infections should see their medical experts. If you’ve recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis or experience yeast infections four or more times in a year, your doctor will likely place you on antifungal treatment for up to 6 months.

Recurring yeast infections can also indicate untreated diabetes, and your doctor can help you resolve the challenge if you inform them.

Read also: Yeast Infection in Skin Folds: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

OTC medications are effective in treating vaginal candidiasis. Deciding the most suitable option of the numerous options available may depend on the severity of the infection and your personal preferences. You can choose which of the options is more convenient for you and within your budget.

Most over the counter medications for candidal infections are categorized into 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day treatment packages. The effectiveness of these options is similar because they contain the same ingredients that fight infectious fungal organisms in varying proportions and relieve symptoms.

Vaginal candidiasis is pretty easy to treat with the proper medication. Suppose you’re looking for quick relief from your symptoms. Your doctor will likely recommend fluconazole on a 7-day yeast infection therapy after considering the severity of your symptoms. Fluconazole is an oral medication that treats vaginal candidiasis effectively.

The content on Doctor Alexa’s blog is reviewed by Advanced practice registered nurses or pharmacist and is intended for educational purposes only. This information should not be relied upon as professional medical counsel. Be sure to always consult with your physician about the dangers and benefits of any medication, treatment or procedure.

You shouldn’t wait to see the doctor for simple health needs.