Fluconazole to treat thrush (150mg tablet)

Date: September 2020, Version 3

What is it?

Fluconazole is an antifungal drug most commonly taken as a single 150 mg tablet to treat vaginal thrush. The information in this sheet refers specifically to this dose of fluconazole.


What are the benefits of using fluconazole in pregnancy?

Fluconazole treats the unpleasant symptoms associated with vaginal thrush, which is a common pregnancy problem. While fluconazole is generally not recommended in pregnancy, it is sometimes prescribed to treat severe thrush that has not responded to other medicines.


Are there any risks of using fluconazole during pregnancy?

Some studies have suggested that miscarriage may be more common following fluconazole use in early pregnancy, and it has also been suggested that babies exposed to fluconazole may have a slightly higher chance of having rare heart defects. These findings need to be confirmed with further research. Fluconazole use in later pregnancy would not be able to cause these problems as the risk of miscarriage has passed by 20 weeks and the baby’s heart is fully developed by 12 weeks.

There are no concerns that fluconazole use in pregnancy affects the chance of stillbirth, preterm delivery, or low infant birth weight.


Are there any alternatives to using fluconazole?

Yes. Another medicine called clotrimazole, which is used in the form of creams or pessaries, can be used to treat thrush in pregnancy. Women are generally only prescribed fluconazole in pregnancy when clotrimazole has not worked.

No treatment

What if I prefer not to take medicines to treat thrush during pregnancy?

Thrush can be very unpleasant and can be safely treated in pregnancy, but if untreated, it does not pose a serious health risk to the mother or baby.

Your doctor will be happy to talk to you about any concerns that you might have when considering use of a medicine in pregnancy.

Will my baby need extra monitoring?

All pregnant women in the UK should be offered a detailed anomaly scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of their routine antenatal care. No extra monitoring for major birth defects is required following fluconazole use in pregnancy.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet, please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from www.uktis.org

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.