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Antifungal Medicines

Fungal infections could include conditions like athletes foot, jock itch, candidiasis and ringworm. Based on the infection, these drugs are available as over-the-counter or prescription medicines. Most fungal infections are minor and not life-threatening.


Systemic Fungal infection – deep infection

  • Systemic antifungal drugs are medicines that are taken orally or by injection.
  • Infections that occur inside the body or those that do not clear up after treatment with ointment need to be treated with systemic antifungal drugs.
  • These drugs are used to treat fungal infections like candidiasis, blastomycosis, aspergillosis and histoplasmosis.
  • Common list of systemic drugs include Fluconazole (Diflucan), Miconazole (Monistat I.V.) and Ketoconazole (Nizoral).

Topical (Dermatophytic) – superficial infections occurring on the skin


  • Topical antifungal drugs are be applied externally to the skin to treat skin infections caused by a fungus.
  • Creams and liquids are generally the most effective method for treating fungal infections on the skin. They can get into the cracks and crevices where fungi grow.
  • Powders absorb moisture and are good to use in moist areas of the body.
  • Common list of topical drugs include Ciclopirox, Clotrimazole, Econazole, Miconazole and Terconazole. Dosage of antifungal drugs depends on the intensity of the infection and the drug.

Fungal infections might take time to clear up hence take the medicines for the period as prescribed by the doctor. Continue the course of medication even though the symptoms may subside or even disappear. Pregnant women/lactating mothers need to check with the doctor before use of any medicines. Anti fungal medications are also classified based on the chemical structure, pharmacokinetics, tolerability, spectrum of activity, etc.


Allylamines: Group of synthetic antifungal drugs that are used locally and systemically.

Imidazole derivates: Most of the drugs are used in treatment of local or external infections and rarely used for systemic treatments.

Polyene antibiotics: Mostly used for topical treatment, as absorption of the drug is low, it is not used for systemic treatment

Triazole: proven to be more effective and safe during treatment.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 12, 2017