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Antifungal medicines

Antifungal medicines are used to treat fungal infections, which most commonly affect your skin, hair and nails.

You can get some antifungal medicines from a pharmacy without needing a GP prescription.

Infections antifungals can treat

Fungal infections commonly treated with antifungals include:

Some fungal infections can grow inside the body and need to be treated in hospital.

Examples include:

You're more at risk of getting one of these more serious fungal infections if you have a weakened immune system – for example, if you're taking medicines to suppress your immune system.

Types of antifungal medicines

You can get antifungal medicines as:

Common names for antifungal medicines include:

How antifungal medicines work

Antifungal medicines work by either:

When to see a pharmacist or GP

See a pharmacist or GP if you think you have a fungal infection. They can advise you on which antifungal medicine is best for you.

If you take too much antifungal medicine, call 111 or speak to a pharmacist or GP.

If you're advised to go to hospital, take the medicine's packaging with you so the healthcare professionals who treat you know what you've taken.

Things to consider when using antifungal medicines

Before taking antifungal medicines, speak to a pharmacist or GP about:

You can also check the patient information leaflet that comes with your antifungal medicine for more information.

Side effects of antifungal medicines

Antifungal medicines may cause side effects. These are usually mild and do not last long.

They can include:

Occasionally, antifungal medicines may cause a more severe reaction, such as:

Stop using the medicine if you have these severe side effects, and see a GP or pharmacist to find an alternative.

If you're having difficulty breathing, go to A&E or call 999.

Reporting side effects

If you think a medicine has made you unwell, you can report this side effect through the Yellow Card Scheme.

Antifungal medicines for children

Some antifungal medicines can be used to treat children and babies – for example, miconazole oral gel can be used for oral thrush in babies.

But different doses are usually needed for children of different ages. Speak to a pharmacist or GP for more advice.