Diflucan is an antifungal agent for the treatment and prevention of meningitis, candidiasis, and other fungal diseases. Diflucan is manufactured by Pfizer, its pharmaceutical name is fluconazole. In 2020, around 2 million patients were prescribed fluconazole in the US. Among other antifungal agents, fluconazole is most widely used. Apart from Diflucan, there are generic versions available under various brand names. The price for Pfizer Diflucan 100 mg can range from $6 to $20 for a single capsule, depending on the pharmacy. Generic fluconazole is generally cheaper and can be bought for $35 per 20 capsules. Fluconazole is available as an intravenous solution, oral powder for reconstitution, tablets, and capsules.
Mechanism of action
Diflucan is a potent selective inhibitor of sterol synthesis in fungal cells. It has fungicidal and fungistatic effects (leads to the death of microbial cells and suppresses their growth and reproduction). It inhibits the activity of fungal enzymes and thereby disrupts their vital functions. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is active against various fungal infections of the genus Candida and some other mycoses. It is active against most of the following microorganisms: Candida albicans, Candida glabrata (many strains are moderately susceptible), Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Cryptococcus neoformans.
Indications of Diflucan Canada
Diflucan is used to treat fungal infections caused by opportunistic pathogens such as:
- genital and urogenital candidiasis;
- candidiasis of the oral mucous membranes;
- prevention of fungal infections in people with HIV;
- various fungal skin infections.
Contraindications of Diflucan Generic
- hypersensitivity to fluconazole, excipients, or azole substances with a similar structure;
- lactase deficiency, galactose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption;
- age less than 3 years old (for this dosage form).
- With caution: liver failure; kidney failure; the appearance of a rash against the background of the use of fluconazole in patients with superficial fungal infection and invasive/systemic fungal infections; potentially proarrhythmic conditions in patients with multiple risk factors (organic heart disease, electrolyte imbalance and concomitant therapy that contributes to the development of such disorders).
Drug Interactions of Diflucan Generic
Erythromycin. The simultaneous use of fluconazole and erythromycin is contraindicated. Simultaneously using erythromycin and fluconazole can lead to an increased risk of cardiotoxicity (prolongation of the QT interval, torsade de pointes) and, as a result, sudden cardiac death.
Cisapride, astemizole, pimozide, terfenadine, quinidine. With the simultaneous use of azole antifungal agents and the listed drugs, adverse reactions from the heart are possible, incl. serious arrhythmias as a result of an increase in the QT interval. Their combined use is contraindicated. Treatment with fluconazole at doses less than 400 mg/day in combination with terfenadine should be carefully monitored.
Common side effects when taking fluconazole:
- nausea, vomiting, bitter taste at the root of the tongue, bloating (gas formation), diarrhea;
- pain in the liver, impaired liver function (increased liver enzymes);
- dizziness, headache;
- tachycardia (heart rhythm violation);
- skin allergic manifestations (rashes, redness of skin areas).
This list contains the most common adverse reactions. For a more detailed list of side effects, consult your physician. If you notice any negative manifestations after using fluconazole, stop taking the drug immediately and consult your doctor about further treatment.
Use during pregnancy and lactation
Adequate studies of fluconazole use in pregnant women have not been conducted. Using Diflucan during pregnancy should be avoided, except in cases of fungal infections which are severe and potentially life-threatening, when the expected benefit of treatment for the mother outweighs the possible risk to the fetus.