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Does fluconazole flush out yeast/discharge?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 9, 2022.

Official answer


Fluconazole inhibits the growth of the yeast Candida albicans, which is most commonly responsible for vaginal yeast infections. This allows our body’s defenses to eliminate the fungus and resolve the discharge. It does this by blocking the effects of an enzyme called lanosterol 14-α-demethylase which is responsible for the formation of ergosterol, an important component of the yeast’s cell wall. This causes toxic substances to build up inside the yeast, reducing its ability to multiply and cause an infection.

Fluconazole is usually prescribed as a single 150 mg dose and an improvement in symptoms is usually seen within one to three days. Typically, in 90% of women, a single dose will clear the infection with vaginal yeast cultures becoming negative within 72 to 96 hours. However, 40 to 60% of women who experience success with fluconazole get another yeast infection within 30 days of treatment, usually with the same strain of yeast, indicating that not all the yeast from the original infection was eliminated.

If the yeast infection recurs or symptoms are not completely relieved, or the infection is severe, fluconazole can be prescribed as three consecutive doses, given three days apart. Symptoms should improve within one to two weeks. If symptoms continue despite this treatment, you may be infected with an unusual strain of yeast or even bacteria so you should see your doctor.


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