Diflucan is an anti-fungal medication commonly used to treat yeast infections caused by a bacterial overgrowth of Candida albicans. Typically a vaginal yeast infection can be treated with a single dose; but a candida overgrowth can also cause oral thrush and urinary tract infections, which may need a longer treatment cycle. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help fight a candida overgrowth and can be taken concurrently with Diflucan. Talk with your doctor before using probiotics while taking Diflucan.
Yeast infections are caused by a fungal overgrowth of Candida albicans -- a bacteria that lives in your mouth, digestive tract and vaginal area. Beneficial bacteria normally keep candida in check, but certain medications -- especially antibiotics -- illness, other infections and a diet high in sugar can allow candida to flourish. A candida overgrowth can lead to a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch, diaper rash, athlete's foot, thrush and canker sores. The best treatment for a yeast infection is a combination of anti-fungal medicine, such as Diflucan, and probiotics, which will crowd out the candida and help prevent a recurrence.
Literally meaning "for life" probiotics are living microorganisms that aid in digestion, help you absorb the nutrients in your food effectively and boost your immune system. There are more than 1,000 different types of bacteria living in and on your body -- and 100 trillion microbes live in your digestive tract. There are two groups of bacteria, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, and several strains and species are contained within each group. Each species serves a unique purpose, and not every type of probiotic will help treat a yeast infection.
Diflucan and Probiotics
When treating a yeast infection with Diflucan, you can get the probiotics you need by eating fermented food or taking supplements. Lactobacillus bacteria -- found in yogurt and kefir -- are more effective than bifidobacterium for treating candida. The National Institutes of Health recommends Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can be taken orally or it can be used as a vaginal suppository. Vaginal suppositories seem to be most effective when used twice daily for one week. Suppositories should contain between 100 million and 1 billion live cells.
Preventing Future Yeast Infections
Diflucan will treat your current infection, but will not help prevent future candida outbreaks. Dietary changes can help. Candida thrive on sugar; limiting added sugars in your diet can help starve the yeast and prevent an overgrowth. Maintaining the balance of good bacteria by continuing to take probitoic supplements or adding cultured foods into your daily diet will also help. Two other probitoics -- Lactobacillus gasseri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus -- seem to lengthen the time between yeast infections, according to MedlinePlus.