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Medications for Oral Thrush

Other names: Candidiasis, Oral; Moniliasis, Oral; Oral Candidiasis; Oral Moniliasis; Thrush, Oral

What is Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush is a yeast infection that develops inside your mouth. It may also be called oral candidiasis.

What Causes Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush is caused by a yeast called Candida Albicans (C. Albicans) that is a type of fungus.

C. Albicans is a normal inhabitant of our mouth and usually causes no harm because it is kept in check by beneficial bacteria. Our immune system is responsible for maintaining this balance.

If our immune system becomes compromised in some way or something disrupts the quantities of beneficial bacteria (such as antibiotics), C.Albicans can grow out of control and cause thrush.

Oral thrush is more likely to develop in the very young or very old. Other people who are at risk of oral thrush include those:

  • Receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics (these can alter the balance of beneficial bacteria)
  • Prescribed oral corticosteroids or prednisone
  • Receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer as both of these treatments can damage healthy cells
  • With certain nutritional deficiencies, such as iron deficiency or vitamin B deficiency
  • With conditions such as HIV, leukemia or other types of cancer that weaken the immune system
  • With dentures or injury or trauma to the mouth
  • With poorly treated diabetes
  • With persistent dry mouth due to disease or certain medications (such as antihistamines, diuretics)
  • Who smoke
  • With thrush elsewhere (eg, vaginal thrush infections during pregnancy can be passed to newborns during birth).

What are the Symptoms of Oral Thrush?

Initially, symptoms may be mild and not easily noticed. As the infection worsens, creamy white or yellow spots or patches may become noticeable on the tongue, insides of the cheeks, tonsils and sometimes the gums and lips. These patches may bleed if scraped. Other symptoms may include:

  • Soreness or burning inside the mouth
  • A cotton-wool like sensation in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A bad taste in the mouth or loss of taste
  • The skin at the corners of your mouth may become dry and cracked.

C. Albicans can also spread to other people who come into contact with the infection (for example the nipples of mothers who are breastfeeding babies with oral thrush may become infected), although they may not develop symptoms if their immune system is strong.

How is Oral Thrush Treated?

Oral thrush may be treated using oral antifungals, antifungal lozenges, or antifungal mouthwashes. The infection usually resolves within two weeks.

It is not uncommon for infants to have several episodes of thrush in their first year of life but adults with recurring thrush should see their doctor for further investigations for any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to thrush.

Drugs Used to Treat Oral Thrush

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
nystatin C N 46 reviews
5.6

Generic name: nystatin systemic

Brand name:  Bio-Statin

Drug class: mouth and throat products, polyenes

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Diflucan C N 2 reviews
10

Generic name: fluconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

fluconazole C N 10 reviews
6.7

Generic name: fluconazole systemic

Brand name:  Diflucan

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

clotrimazole C N 29 reviews
3.3

Generic name: clotrimazole systemic

Brand name:  Mycelex Troche

Drug class: mouth and throat products, azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

miconazole N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: miconazole topical

Drug class: vaginal anti-infectives, topical antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Mycelex Troche C N 5 reviews
5.8

Generic name: clotrimazole systemic

Drug class: mouth and throat products, azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

gentian violet N N 1 review
7.0

Generic name: gentian violet topical

Drug class: topical anti-infectives

For consumers: dosage,

Bio-Statin C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: nystatin systemic

Drug class: mouth and throat products, polyenes

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

ketoconazole Off Label C N X 2 reviews
1.5

Generic name: ketoconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off Label: Yes

Amphocin B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: amphotericin b systemic

Drug class: polyenes

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

itraconazole C N 2 reviews
10

Generic name: itraconazole systemic

Brand names:  Sporanox, Onmel

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

amphotericin b B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: amphotericin b systemic

Brand names:  Amphocin, Fungizone

Drug class: polyenes

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Fungizone B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: amphotericin b systemic

Drug class: polyenes

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

miconazole C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: miconazole systemic

Brand name:  Oravig

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts

Oravig C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: miconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Sporanox C N 2 reviews
10

Generic name: itraconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Noxafil C N 1 review
0.0

Generic name: posaconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Onmel C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: itraconazole systemic

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

posaconazole C N 1 review
0.0

Generic name: posaconazole systemic

Brand name:  Noxafil

Drug class: azole antifungals

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Alternative treatments for Oral Thrush

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Oral Thrush. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Oral Thrush.

Learn more about Oral Thrush

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.