Monistat vs Diflucan (Fluconazole)

Written by HeyDoctor Medical Team

How does Monistat work? Is it better or worse than Diflucan?

Oof, friend, sorry you’re on this page, because this page is about yeast infection medications, and unless you’re just *clenches fist* so passionate about being prepared for a yeast infection… well, I’m sorry you’re here.

Monistat vs. diflucan

Here are the differences in just a few words:

  • Monistat (miconazole): over the counter, topical cream
  • Diflucan: (fluconazole): prescription, pill

If you’d like a little more detail, read on.

Which yeast infection treatment should I use?

Yeast infections can have symptoms similar to those of bacterial vaginosis (irregular discharge) or a urinary tract infection (itching, burning when you pee). It’s often hard to know if a yeast infection is indeed what you’re dealing with.

But, both of the above-mentioned treatments work more than 90% of the time for yeast infections, and are effective within about a week. (If they haven’t worked after a week, call your doctor.) But which one is going to be right for you?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you sure it’s a yeast infection?
  • Does it seem like a normal yeast infection?
  • Have you ever had a yeast infection before?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, or if you get yeast infections pretty frequently, it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor before deciding on a treatment.

When to take Monistat or an over-the-counter medicine

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of those questions, or if you can’t see a doctor right now, an over-the-counter medicine can be a good place to start — it’s affordable, and you can start treatment right away. Miconazole and others like it (clotrimazole, tioconazole) come in cream form, and can be applied with suppositories or an applicator. They typically come in one-, three-, or seven-day courses. The side effects can be (more) vaginal irritation. Due to increasing resistance to fluconazole the topical medications are the best place to start.

When to try Diflucan (fluconazole)

If you tried the topical medications, cannot use them, or you’d rather take a pill, fluconazole is often very affordable once you’ve gotten a prescription. Side effects are the common ones: headache and stomachache. Some antifungal medications in this family (though not fluconazole), once came with a caution that they could interfere with certain birth control pills, but now the consensus seems to be that the risk is very low. Ask your doctor if you’re concerned!

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HeyDoctor, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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