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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.

Xerostomia

Xerostomia or Dry Mouth is a condition that can occur due to many reasons. It is often indicative of other health conditions. There is reduced saliva flow, not necessarily due to decreased salivary gland function. Other conditions that occur with xerostomia include constant sore throat, dry nasal passage, burning mouth or difficulty in swallowing. Symptoms of xerostomia include thick saliva, cracked lips and sores at the mouth corners. There might be red patches on the tongue and palate. The tongue appears dry with very few papillae - indentations. Xerostomia can lead to reduced oral pH and increased risk of plaque and dental caries, if left untreated. Other conditions that can develop include tongue ulcers, oral candidiasis, halitosis and sialadenitis.


Oral cavity examination to measure the flow rate of saliva is done to diagnose xerostomia. This is done through sialometry test. Sialography is an imaging test wherein the salivary glands are examined for stones and masses. The patients medications must be examined. Medications are the main cause for xerostomia. These include antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-Parkinson agents, diuretics and sedatives. Analgesics, decongestants and muscle relaxants also cause this. Another cause for xerostomia is Sjogren's syndrome. Other causes include sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, endocrine disorders and amyloidosis.


Palliative methods include use of water and glycerin and avoidance of alcohol-based mouth washes. Sip plenty of plain cool water. Eat more blended and moist foods. Include hard cheese in the diet. Suck on sugar-free gum. Artificial saliva and salivary stimulants might be suggested by the physician. Pilocarpine is the most prescribed medication for xerostomia.


Probiotics

Probiotics can be classified as a set of functional food which has live bacteria that are beneficial and not harmful to the human beings. The first ever probiotic food introduced was adding acidophilus to the milk, this helped people develop better tolerance towards milk and also helped people who found it difficult to digest milk. Majority of the probiotic food available in the market is fermented partially. Food items that contain probiotic bacteria are mainly dairy products such as probiotic added fluid milk and yogurt. Two main bacteria that are probiotic are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These are a component of the lactic acid bacteria and are present in fermented dairy products. Probiotics have multiple advantages as listed below:


  • Probiotics help keep up the balance between harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut thus maintaining a healthy digestive system.
  • Helps to remove gas and decomposes waste.
  • Consumption of probiotics is very useful and beneficial for people who have taken antibiotics for a long time.
  • Traveling abroad means facing travel induced diarrhea, probiotics help the body tackle this condition with ease.
  • Probiotics help in stimulating the immune system thereby reducing infections.
  • Useful in the treatment of diarrhea and infections in the GI tract.
  • Improves digestion of lactose and deals with lactose intolerance. Also improves overall digestion and in particular is good for improving digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Helps prevention of colon cancer and prevents growth of substances that cause cancer.
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure in the human body.
  • Helps improve mineral and nutrient absorption and reduces inflammation.
  • Controls growth of harmful bacteria under stressful conditions.
  • Plays a role in balancing sex hormones thus improving fertility.
  • Infections such as athletes foot, candidiasis etc that is caused by yeast is kept at bay.
  • Controls growth of pathogenic bacteria and virus.
  • Crushes toxins and produces antibodies and anti carcinogens.
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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 14, 2019