Canesten Oral: Uses, Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects, Interaction, FAQs

What is Canesten oral capsule?

Canesten oral capsule is a brand of fluconazole manufactured by Bayer. Canesten oral capsule is used to prevent and treat candidiasis. This condition is caused by infection with one of the many types of fungus Candida. Examples of candidiasis include vaginal yeast infection, as well as oral yeast infection (thrush).

Candidiasis can also cause infections in other parts of your body, including your throat, esophagus, lungs, and blood. People who have had bone marrow transplants may be treated with fluconazole to prevent candidiasis. This is because their immune systems are weakened, which makes them more likely to become infected with a severe form of candidiasis.

Canesten oral capsule is also used to treat meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord) that’s caused by the fungus Cryptococcus.

How Canesten oral capsule works

Canesten oral capsule belongs to a class of drugs called triazole antifungals. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Canesten oral capsule works by blocking the ability of the fungi Candida and Cryptococcus to reproduce. For people with infections from these fungi, this drug helps to get rid of the infection. For people at higher risk of candidiasis, it helps to prevent infection. Canesten oral capsule contains an effective antifungal agent that works systematically to treat vaginal yeast infections.

How should Canesten oral capsule be used?

Canesten oral capsule is a medication you take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day, with or without food. You may need to take only one dose of Canesten oral capsule, or you may need to take fluconazole for several weeks or longer. The length of your treatment depends on your condition and on how well you respond to Canesten oral capsule.

For vaginal thrush or balanitis: 150mg of Canesten oral capsule is taken as a single dose.

Vaginal thrush that keeps coming back: 150mg Canesten oral capsule is taken once every 72 hours for the first 3 doses, then  150mg once a week for 6 months.

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Canesten oral capsule exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may tell you to take a double dose of Canesten oral capsule on the first day of your treatment. Follow these directions carefully.

Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

You should begin to feel better during the first few days of treatment with Canesten oral capsule. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, call your doctor.

Continue to take Canesten oral capsule until your doctor tells you that you should stop, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking Canesten oral capsules without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking Canesten oral capsule too soon, your infection may come back after a short time.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

Canesten Oral Capsule Side Effects

Side effects associated with the use of Canesten oral capsule, include the following:

•          Abdominal pain

•          Diarrhea

•          Headache

•          Nausea

•          Rash

•          Vomiting

Other side effects of fluconazole include:

•          Cholestasis

•          Dizziness

•          Hair loss

•          Hepatitis

•          High triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)

•          Increased alkaline phosphatase

•          Increased ALT/AST

•          Liver failure

•          Low blood potassium (hypokalemia)

•          Low levels of platelets in the blood (thrombocytopenia)

•          Low levels of white blood cells (leukopenia)

•          Pallor

•          QT prolongation

•          Seizures

•          Severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic reactions)

•          Shortness of breath

•          Skin swelling

•          Stevens-Johnson syndrome

•          Taste perversion

•          Torsades de pointes

•          Toxic epidermal necrolysis

•          Yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice)

This document does not contain all Canesten oral capsule possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Canesten oral capsule interactions

Canesten oral capsule oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with Canesten oral capsules are listed below.

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Drugs that should not be used with Canesten oral capsule

There are certain drugs that you should not use with Canesten oral capsules. When used with Canesten oral capsules, these drugs can cause dangerous effects in the body. Examples of these drugs include:

•          Pimozide, clarithromycin, erythromycin, ranolazine, lomitapide, donepezil, voriconazole, and quinidine. When used with Canesten oral capsules, these drugs can cause a life-threatening heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes.

•          Terfenadine. When used with Canesten oral capsule at doses of 400 mg or higher, this drug can cause a life-threatening heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes.

Drugs that increase the risk of side effects

Taking Canesten oral capsules with certain drugs raises your risk of side effects from those drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

•          Antidepressants, such as citalopram, escitalopram, and paroxetine. Taking Canesten oral capsule with these medications raises your risk of a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes.

•          Antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, and ziprasidone. Taking Canesten oral capsule with these medications raises your risk of a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointes.

•          Carbamazepine. Increased side effects include nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness, low blood cell counts, severe rash, heart failure, and liver failure.

•          Certain calcium channel blockers, such as nifedipine, amlodipine, verapamil, and felodipine. Increased side effects include low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, and headache.

•          Certain statins, such as atorvastatin and simvastatin. Increased side effects include muscle pain and weakness and raised levels of creatinine in your blood.

•          Cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and sirolimus. Increased side effects can include kidney damage. Your doctor will check your blood for signs of kidney damage while you’re taking Canesten oral capsule. If you show signs of kidney damage, your doctor may lower your doses of these drugs or stop them completely until your treatment with Canesten oral capsule is done.

•          Diabetes drugs such as glyburide and glipizide. Increased side effects can include low blood sugar. This causes symptoms such as sweating and chills, shakiness, fast pulse, weakness, hunger, and dizziness.

•          Heart rhythm drugs, such as amiodarone and dofetilide. Taking Canesten oral capsule with these medications raises your risk of a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm condition called torsades de pointe

•          Pain drugs, such as methadone and fentanyl. The levels of these drugs may be increased in your body when taken with Canesten oral capsule. Increased side effects include slower breathing, confusion, and drowsiness.

•          Phenytoin. Taking this drug with Canesten oral capsule can cause trouble with coordination, slurred speech, and confusion. Your doctor will measure blood levels of phenytoin while you’re taking Canesten oral capsule. It’s possible that your doctor will decrease your dose of phenytoin while you’re taking Canesten oral capsule.

•          Theophylline. Taking this drug with Canesten oral capsule can cause muscle cramps, headache, low blood pressure, and seizures. Your doctor will measure blood levels of phenytoin while you’re taking Canesten oral capsule.

•          Warfarin. Increased side effects can include bruising, nosebleeds, and blood in your urine or stools.

•          Zidovudine. Increased side effects can include headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

Canesten Oral Capsule Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does Canesten oral take to work?

Canesten oral capsule usually starts to work within one day, but it may take 3 days for your symptoms to improve and up to 7 days for your symptoms to disappear. For mild, uncomplicated infections, Canesten oral capsule is prescribed as a single 150 mg dose and an improvement in symptoms is usually seen within one to three days.

Can Canesten oral treat chlamydia?

No, Canesten oral capsule doesn’t treat chlamydia. This medication is used to treat infections caused by a fungus, whereas chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria.

Is Canesten oral capsule covered by insurance?

Canesten oral capsule treats many serious fungal infections. Most commercial health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid plans will cover a generic fluconazole prescription, though some insurance companies may not cover brand-name Canesten oral capsules. Health insurance can reduce the cost of fluconazole, but the actual out-of-pocket cost will depend on the number of tablets prescribed as well as the insurance plan’s formulary, deductible, and copay.

How much does Canesten oral capsule cost without insurance?

Without insurance coverage, the cash price of a single 150 mg tablet of Canesten oral capsule is $14 OR £10.99 which is usually enough to treat an uncomplicated vaginal yeast infection. Other fungal infections may require several daily doses or weekly doses.

Can I buy Canesten oral capsules online?

Yes, you can buy Canesten oral capsules online and over the counter in the UK, however, you will be asked to complete a short medical questionnaire by the pharmacist before the pharmacy can take your order. This includes some simple questions that all pharmacies legally are required to ask before supplying this kind of product. This helps ensures that this product is the best choice for you.

However, in the United States, Canesten oral capsules require a prescription and are not available over-the-counter (OTC).

Can I use Canesten oral capsule while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can take Canesten oral capsule while breastfeeding. Fluconazole is also used in the treatment of fungal diseases in infants and has a good safety profile. Therefore, there is no need to interrupt breastfeeding when a mother is treated with a Canesten oral capsule.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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