Is it safe to use over-the-counter medicines for yeast infections?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Yes, it is very safe to use over-the-counter medications for yeast infections.  Most of the over-the-counter medications are just milder dosages of prescription medications.  When patients are using over-the-counter medications, I believe that a 3-night course is much better than the one night treatment.  Many patients that use the one night treatment get partial cure, but the infection comes back; and that is the reason I believe a longer treatment is necessary.  If after the 3-night treatment the patient is not better, then she is to call my office for an evaluation.  Many patients will want to call the office to obtain a 1-day pill of fluconazole to rid themselves of an infection.  This is a very efficient and good way to remedy a vaginal yeast infection.  The problem is that this medication taken over long periods of time can cause liver problems as well as there is a possibility that the yeast could build up a resistance, and this stronger more resistant yeast infection could be very difficult to treat in the future.

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