PDR Health


What is Diflucan?

Diflucan (fluconazole) is an antifungal medication used to treat fungal infections. It works by stopping the growth of the fungus.

Diflucan is available as a generic drug. It is not available over the counter.


Health Benefits

Fungal infections can cause a wide variety of symptoms depending on the area of the body affected. Diflucan is used to treat infections caused by Candida, such as vaginal yeast infections, thrush, and esophageal candidiasis (a fungal infection of the lining of the esophagus).

Side Effects and Risks

The most common side effects of Diflucan are headache, nausea, and abdominal pain. Other side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash.

Dosage and Preparation

Diflucan is available in several strengths and forms. It is typically taken as a pill, although it can also be given intravenously.

The usual adult dose for vaginal yeast infections is 150 mg as a single dose. For other types of fungal infections, the usual adult dose is 200-400 mg daily.

For children younger than 2 years, the usual dose is based on weight.

Diflucan can be taken with or without food. It should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.

If you miss a dose of Diflucan, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of Diflucan at the same time.

Interactions and Precautions

Diflucan may interact with other medications. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the drugs you take, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Diflucan is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant while taking Diflucan, stop taking it and call your doctor right away.

It is not known whether Diflucan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding before taking Diflucan.

Mechanism of Action

Diflucan works by inhibiting the growth of the fungus. It does this by preventing the fungus from making ergosterol, a component of cell membranes. This action disrupts the fungal cell membrane, causing it to leak and eventually kill the fungus.


Diflucan is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. It is widely distributed in the body, and traces have been found in breast milk, semen, and cerebrospinal fluid. The half-life of Diflucan is 30-50 hours.

Fluconazole is eliminated primarily by the kidneys. A small amount is metabolized by the liver.

How long does it take to work?

Diflucan begins working within a few hours of being taken. However, it may take several weeks for the infection to clear completely.

Alternatives to Diflucan

There are several alternative medications available to treat fungal infections. These include ketoconazole, itraconazole, and clotrimazole.

Some home remedies may also help, such as yogurt and garlic. However, these have not been proven to be effective.

If you have a vaginal yeast infection, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication. Some of these medications are available as creams that are applied to the affected area. Others are taken by mouth.