Diflucan (fluconazole) is a relatively new drug used in the treatment of fungal infections. It has been widely used for the past decade and is an extremely effective agent. It has been used to treat fungal infections both in the hospital and in outpatients. The major fungal infection treated with Diflucan is Candidiasis (thrush). Diflucan has the ability to treat fungal infections in the kidney, liver vagina, brain, mouth, abdomen, lungs and in the blood. It is also widely used to treat bone marrow transplant recipients and AIDs patients to prevent fungal infections.
It is a relatively safe drug and the most common side effect is nausea. Other may complain of abdominal pain, diarrhea and headache. Altered taste and dizziness are also rare complaints.
A few individuals may also develop skin side effects which are unpredictable and can be serious. These include:
Steven Johnson syndrome/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: Both of these conditions may start with vague symptoms such as body ache, dry cough, fever and chills. Within the next 24-48 hours, one may develop a red rash on the entire body. The rash is quite prominent and frightening. With time blisters develop round the eyes, mouth, and genital area. The mouth, nose and ears do get inflamed and painful. Over time the skin starts to peel away. In some cases, hair and nails also start to fall off. Both these conditions are life threatening and death is often the eventual outcome. The individual is usually treated in the ICU and the offending medication must be immediately stopped. Fluids, supportive care and sometimes corticosteroids may be life saving
Anaphylaxis: In some cases, Intravenous administration of Diflucan can result in shock, with low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and hives. This must be immediately treated with epinephrine and the individual monitored in the hospital.
Despite the lethal side effects, Diflucan is still a safe drug and extremely effective at treating fungal infections. The majority of the skin adverse effects of Diflucan have occurred with intravenous administration of the drug. Anyone with the above skin side effects which occur after taking Diflucan must see their physician.
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