Treatment of vaginal candidiasis: orally or vaginally?

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Sep;23(3 Pt 2):568-72. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(90)70257-i.


Vaginal candidiasis continues to be the most common cause of vaginal discharge. A large variety of topical drugs and a selection of orally active antifungals are currently available. The choice between the use of oral drugs or intravaginal agents will depend on the therapeutic results obtained with the different agents, side effects, pregnancy status, and patient preference. The results obtained in the Maria Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands, and a review of foreign data suggest the following: (1) For acute infection oral and topical agents produce equivalent results. (2) For chronic infections oral medication is preferred. (3) Oral therapy should not be given to pregnant patients or to patients not using reliable contraceptive measures. (4) Half the patients prefer oral medication; only 5% prefer intravaginal therapy, and the others had no clear preference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravaginal
  • Administration, Oral
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Recurrence
  • Sexual Partners


  • Antifungal Agents