Complete Guide to Treating a Thrush Infection
Compare the most popular treatments for genital and oral thrush.
Updated: Thursday 05 May 2022
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of the candida fungus. About 35-40% of the population have candida fungus growing in their gastrointestinal tract (their gut) and mouth, and in healthy people this is usually harmless. However, if the conditions are right for the fungus to grow, such as in particularly warm and moist environments, it can overgrow and cause an infection. The condition can affect the mouth (oral thrush) or the genitals, with the vagina being far more commonly affected than the penis, and these are treated with different medications.
There are several highly effective thrush treatments that can control the spread of the candida fungus, typically clearing the infection in just a single dose or a few applications of medication. The table below compares effective treatments for genital and oral thrush.
Compare Thrush Treatments
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|Canesten External 1%
||2-3 times daily for 1-2 weeks *
|Canesten External 2%
||2-3 times daily for 2-4 weeks
||Inserted into Vagina
||Fluconazole + Clotrimazole
||Oral Tablets + External Cream
||Single dose (tablet) + 2-3 times for 1-2 weeks (cream) *
|Daktarin Oral Gel
||4 times daily for 7 days
* For women, you should see your doctor after 7 days of treatment if the symptoms have not improved. For men, the cream can be applied for up to 2 weeks.
Fluconazole is a single dose treatment that comes in the form of a tablet taken orally. It is used to treat genital thrush and is effective at clearing an infection in just 2 days, making it one of the quickest-acting treatments available. The candida fungal cells require ergosterol to survive, and this treatment disrupts the production of this compound, preventing the spread and restoring a healthy balance of bacteria.
Clotrimazole is a powerful antifungal medication used to clear fungal skin infections including ringworm, athlete’s foot and genital thrush. The popular brand Canesten provides a wide range of treatments containing clotrimazole, varying in application method and strength. Canesten Internal Cream and Canesten Thrush Pessary target a genital thrush infection from the source, being inserted into the vagina, and typically clearing thrush within three days. Topical creams such as Canesten Thrush Cream 1% and Canesten Thrush Cream 2% are used externally for genital thrush, being especially effective at providing rapid relief from itchiness and irritation.
Canesten Thrush Duo combines the benefits of both the clotrimazole topical cream and the fluconazole tablet to treat genital thrush quickly and effectively.
Oral thrush is particularly common in young infants and adults that have dentures, but can occur to anyone carrying the candida fungus, at any age. Treatments containing the active ingredient miconazole are effective at controlling the symptoms by making holes in the membranes of the fungal cells and killing them. A popular miconazole treatment is Daktarin Oral Gel, which is applied in the mouth to the affected area 4 times per day for 1 week. It’s important with this treatment to continue application for the full week even if your symptoms clear earlier.
More on Thrush
Do you have a question about thrush that you couldn’t find an answer to? Have a read of our Top Thrush Questions, Answered article for a full overview of the condition, symptoms, risk factors and more.
Some people may find that their thrush keeps coming back. This can occur for many reasons, such as when taking an antibiotic medication, or simply due to a genetic predisposition, but it’s important not to exceed the treatment duration outlined in greater detail in the patient information leaflets (these can be found on each item’s page). Check out our Guide to Recurring Thrush for more on the risk factors as well as how to prevent repeat infections.