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How do I Choose the Best over-The-Counter Yeast Infection Treatment?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a wide variety of over-the-counter yeast infection treatment options on the market. Once you know for sure your symptoms are those of a yeast infection and not another problem, you can begin looking for the best treatment for you. To do this, determine how fast you need relief, which method would best fit your daily lifestyle, and whether you prefer a medicated or natural approach.

Using an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment is a quick and easy way to deal with a yeast infection. Still, medical professionals recommend that anyone who’s never had a yeast infection get an official diagnosis before using any kind of yeast infection remedy. Typical symptoms often mimic those of other conditions, and anyone who’s never had a yeast infection before could find it difficult to tell the difference.

The most common kinds of over-the-counter yeast infection treatment methods include vaginal suppositories and creams designed to be inserted with an applicator. Some applicators are pre-filled with the medicated cream to allow for easier use. Many treatment kits come with both internal and external medications. The internal medication is designed to treat the yeast infection, while the external medication, which is usually a cream, is designed to be applied externally to alleviate itching and burning. They come in a variety of strengths and are available in one-dose, three-dose, and seven-dose packages.

Similar to many other kinds of medicines, OTC yeast infection treatment kits are available in both generic and name brand forms. Typically, generic medications are less expensive than name brand medications, but that doesn’t mean they’re less effective. If you want to try a generic treatment, make sure that it includes one of the anti-fungal medications commonly used for treating a yeast infection: butoconazole, clortrimazole, miconazole nitrate, or tioconazole. If you’re hesitant about trying a generic brand, choose a name brand instead or ask a healthcare professional for advice.

In addition to kits that include creams and suppositories, you can choose from a variety of oral yeast infection treatments. These tablets are less messy than suppositories and creams, but they usually take longer to cure the infection. In addition, not all oral treatments actually cure the infection. Some are designed to encourage your body’s natural defenses to cure the infection, while others are meant to simply alleviate the symptoms while some other treatment option cures the infection. Be sure to read the packaging’s fine print before you choose an oral OTC treatment.

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Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Jun 08, 2013

I use miconazole nitrate for yeast infection symptoms. I've bought both the original brand and the generic one and there is no difference, aside from the price. It even works for skin yeast infections. My boyfriend has used it as well.

By ddljohn — On Jun 08, 2013

@anamur-- Have you tried a vaginal douche? There is an over-the-counter vinegar douche that worked great for me, it cleared up the infection after several uses.

There are also other types of douches available, even some you can put together at home.

If no over the counter treatment is working for you though, you should see your gynecologist for a prescription medication. If there is an underlying cause, it's hard to find the best yeast infection treatment. I know people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from yeast infections, as well as women who are at risk for cervical cancer. It wouldn't hurt to have a general check-up.

Meanwhile, eat healthy, consume probiotic yogurt and take your vitamins to keep your immune system strong.

By serenesurface — On Jun 07, 2013

I've tried every yeast infection cream at the pharmacy. It's the same thing every time. My symptoms seem to decrease for a few days and then come back full-blown, even before I stop using the cream. I don't know why these OTC yeast infection treatments aren't working for me.

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