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What is the best over-the-counter medication to treat a yeast infection?


While there are over-the-counter (OTC) vaginal antifungal (yeast infection) treatments, it is important to talk to your doctor first if you are pregnant, have diabetes, have decreased immunity due to a medical condition or medication, or have recurrent yeast infections. If you have never been diagnosed with a yeast infection by a doctor, consult your healthcare provider before using an OTC yeast infection product to make certain that what you have is indeed a yeast infection and not some other condition requiring different medication.

Symptoms of yeast infections - which are fungal infections that are very common among women - include itching, painful and irritated skin, a cottage cheese-like vaginal discharge, and possible pain on urination. Fungal infections commonly occur in people who are using certain antibiotics, have diabetes, have decreased immunity, are sexually active, or who are exposed to moist and humid conditions.

Over the counter yeast infection treatments

A common OTC brand is Monistat®. All the creams and suppositories available over the counter are similar (the generics are just as good as the brand). Most of these products are available in one-, three-, or seven-day treatment options. Read the package to see which formula you would prefer.

It is best to talk to a doctor or pharmacist first when using these medications. Be aware that antifungal medications can interact with many common prescription medications such as warfarin (Coumadin®).

If the yeast infection does not clear within seven days or if you experience symptoms that are not consistent with a yeast infection, contact your doctor.

Other self-care steps you can take - in addition to medications - include eating yogurt or drinking cranberry juice. Yogurt contains the bacterium acidophilus, which is a "protective" bacterium commonly found in the vagina that can help reduce the potential for developing yeast infections. Cranberry juice has been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections and, possibly, yeast infections.

View yeast infection products.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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