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How is oral thrush treated ?

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Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 988 Questions
I was diagnosed with oral thrush on Monday (although I don't seem to fit any of the categories of people prone to this) I was prescribed Nystan liquid to use 4 times a day so I have had 8 doses now and my mouth is still unbearably sore. I have a couple of questions:
How soon can I expect the medicine to work?
Would tablets have been a better option?
Could I self-medicate with a Canesten tablet from my pharmacy?
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 48 minutes later
Hi!Barbara ,

Thank you for the query,

Oral thrush is a fungal infection which appears as thick whitish, curd like velvety lesion in mouth or tongue. If this is removed one can see a red tissue which may bleed. To confirm this you can take the help of a microbiologist & send a sample for a fungal smear ( KOH smear),which would confirm the presence of yeast cells.

If the condition is proved by a dermatologist or by the KOH smear test, then 'Nystatin' is the right medicine .

There are other anti-fungal preparations. But I doubt they may work, if nystatin doesn't work good. But yes oral anti-fungal tablets would be more effective and would work faster. Local application alone might take a longer time may be 2-3weeks at least to start showing the response .

Canesten (fluconazole) is a good anti fungal tablet, but I am sorry I would not advise you any self medication for this. It would be favorable to consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Its also important to diagnose the condition correctly. Other condition which might mimic oral thrush would be apthous ulcers or herpetic ulcers etc. These conditions would require a different level of treatment all together.

If you can send me a picture of the lesion, then probably I can help you with the diagnosis. You can mail the picture at YYYY@YYYY . Kindly put a subject as "ATTN Dr.Bharat Chawda". Also reply to the website that you have send a picture for diagnosis.

You have mentioned that you don't fit in any of the category of people prone to this - I would like to know about following points :
1) if you are diabetic or not
2) Your age
3) any associated symptoms like weight loss or fever.
4) any gastro-intestinal problem.
5) any other mucosa (eye or genital) involved.

Kindly let us know about the above points to serve you better.

'Hope I have answered your query, I will be available to answer your follow up queries’.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How is oral thrush treated ? 2 hours later
I am 58 years old, am not diabetic, no weight loss or fever, no gastro-intestinal problems, no weight loss, no other mucosa involved. I feel fine in myself it's just that the pain in my mouth is strong and eating is very difficult.
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 3 hours later
Hi!Barbara ,

With this history i would suggest you to go for a test (KOH scarping ) which would confirm a fungal infection.And if you go for anti fungal tablets and local applications without the test and in case don't respond to it at all ,then you need to consider apthous ulcer,herpetic ulcer or behcets disease (though rare).

As far as pain is concerned it is seen in all the above condition.I wish I had pictures to see the lesion.You can apply a local anesthetic gel for the management of pain.It comes in combination with the anti-fungal preparation. This can be applied over the affected area 10 minutes before taking the food.You should also take B-complex tablets along with this for faster recovery.

I hope this helps you.

“ Wish you Good Health”

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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