Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Yeast infection treatment depends on whether you have an uncomplicated or a complicated infection.

Uncomplicated yeast infection

For mild to moderate symptoms and infrequent episodes of yeast infection, your doctor might recommend:

  • Short-course vaginal therapy. A one-time application or one-to-three-day regimen of an antifungal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository effectively clears a yeast infection in most cases. The medication of choice is from a class of drugs called the azoles; these include butoconazole (Gynazole-1), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), miconazole (Monistat 3) and terconazole (Terazol 3). These medications are available by prescription or over-the-counter. The oil-based nature of these agents in cream and suppository form could potentially weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Side effects might include slight burning or irritation during application.
  • Single-dose oral medication. Your doctor might prescribe a one-time single dose of the antifungal medication fluconazole (Diflucan) to be taken by mouth.

Make a follow-up appointment with your doctor if you've finished your treatment and your symptoms haven't gone away or if your symptoms return within two months of being treated.

Complicated yeast infection

Treatment for a complicated yeast infection might include:

  • Long-course vaginal therapy. Vaginal treatment for complicated yeast infections includes an azole medication in the form of a vaginal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository. The duration of treatment is usually seven to 14 days.
  • Multidose oral medication. Instead of vaginal therapy, your doctor might prescribe two or three doses of fluconazole to be taken by mouth. However, this therapy isn't recommended for pregnant women.
  • Maintenance plan. For recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend a medication routine to keep yeast overgrowth in check and prevent future infections. Maintenance therapy starts after the initial treatment clears the yeast infection and may include fluconazole tablets taken by mouth once a week for six months. Some doctors prescribe clotrimazole as a vaginal tablet (suppository) used once a week instead of an oral medication.

Usually, your sex partner doesn't also need to be treated for a yeast infection. If you have recurrent yeast infections, your doctor might recommend treating your partner if your partner has signs or symptoms of a genital yeast infection — for instance, jock itch in a male partner — or using condoms during intercourse.

Nov. 01, 2012