A prospective study of fluconazole treatment for breast and nipple thrush

Breastfeed Rev. 2011 Nov;19(3):25-9.


Background: Breastfeeding women with continuous burning nipple pain, often associated with post-feed radiating breast pain, may be diagnosed with nipple and breast Candida (thrush) infection. This project examined the efficacy of the three fuconazole capsule regime (one 150 mg capsule alternate days) and explored factors associated with longer courses of fluconazole.

Methods: Women diagnosed with nipple and breast Candida and treated with oral fuconazole at a tertiary hospital (n = 96) were followed up until pain resolution.

Results: Women took between 1 and 29 fluconazole capsules, mean = 7.3, median = 6. The number of capsules was not related to socio-demographic or health characteristics of mothers or babies; women with more severe breast pain were more likely to take > 3 capsules than women with less severe breast pain. Only minor side-effects were reported.

Discussion: Most women require more than three capsules of fluconazole, but two-thirds of women will require six or less.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Diseases / diagnosis
  • Breast Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Breast Diseases / nursing
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / diagnosis
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / drug therapy*
  • Candidiasis, Cutaneous / nursing
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mastodynia / drug therapy*
  • Mastodynia / microbiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fluconazole